What to Do About a Cracked Tooth

What to Do About a Cracked Tooth

Your teeth are hard enough to chew through food, but vulnerable to chips and cracks. These can be painful, embarrassing, and cause problems for you later. A cracked tooth is one that should be handled with care and with urgency. Cracked teeth are so common, 80% of dental patients over 40 experience them 

The experienced providers at Expressions in Dentistry in Folsom, California, understand the difficulty of protecting your permanent teeth, and the options that you have if your teeth are damaged. So many things can happen to your teeth, but cracked teeth are something that must be treated to protect your oral and overall health. 

What happened?

Many things can cause a cracked tooth, even something as innocuous and normal as eating crunchy food. You can crack a tooth in an accident, for example, if you run into something. Cracking a tooth may produce a little blood, but is most often characterized by erratic pain coming from a spot in your mouth. 

Uneven pressure can also result in a cracked tooth, as can exposing your teeth to temperature extremes and allowing your teeth to wear down without receiving proper care. Expressions in Dentistry offers emergency dentistry for cracked teeth, which can affect your long-term oral health if not treated quickly.  

How bad is it?

There are several types of cracked teeth. Cracked teeth are generally repairable to a degree, but not all cracked teeth have the same prognosis, or treatment outlook

Crazy lines

Crazy lines are tiny, superficial splits in the crown, or top, of your tooth. They rarely cause pain, and rarely require treatment, so it’s unusual for them to be repaired.

Fractured cusp

A piece of a tooth that has a filling may break in your mouth. Though this is unlikely to cause pain and is fixed with relative ease, biting down on clean, moist gauze can help to eliminate some discomfort.

Cracked tooth

Cracked teeth have a vertical line that extends from the crown to at least the gumline. Cracks that end at the gumline can be restored with root canals. Below the gumline, if your tooth’s crack goes into the root, you will need to replace your tooth. 

Split tooth

A split tooth is a cracked tooth that has gone untreated, resulting in a long crack from the crown to the base of the root. This splits the tooth in several pieces. A portion of your tooth may be saved, but it will involve the partial use of dental implants. 

Vertical root fracture

Imagine a crack starting at the bottom of your root and working its way up. That is what comprises a vertical root fracture, and they’re rarely detected until they cause an infection. They normally cause no pain and can be difficult to spot. 

What do I do first?

You’ve cracked a tooth and might be feeling a sharp pain already. Cracks in your teeth can split your tooth pulp, the sensitive tissue in your tooth that stores your nerves and blood vessels. You might only feel it when you bite down, and the pain may come and go. Rinse your mouth with cool water, and take an over-the-counter painkiller until you can get help. 

If you notice that a particular tooth has an extreme reaction, whereas it had not before, you might have a cracked tooth. If you suspect that you have a cracked tooth, contact Expressions in Dentistry today at 916-252-9186, or book an appointment with us online.

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