How to treat a cracked tooth in Graham, NC

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Cracked teeth treatment in Graham, NC

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re experiencing a cracked tooth – or at least thought you’ve experienced it in the past. So, what is a cracked tooth, what causes it, how can you prevent it, and what treatment is available to fix cracked teeth in Graham, NC?

Read on as we provide answers to these questions and more in this post.

What is a cracked tooth?

A cracked tooth, otherwise known as cracked tooth syndrome (CTS) or fractured tooth, is when a crack appears in your tooth. Sometimes, this crack can be small and harmless, and other times, it can lead to a split or broken tooth – a dental emergency that requires the help of a dental professional.

Cracked teeth occur most often on the teeth toward the back of the lower jaw (mandibular molars) and on the upper front teeth. Although anyone can fracture a tooth, cracked teeth are most common in kids and older people. If you think you have a fractured tooth, see Dr. Charly Rose, your Graham, NC, dentist right away.

What causes a cracked tooth?

The most common cracked tooth causes include:

  • Age, with many people experiencing cracked or broken teeth at age 50 and older
  • Trauma, including car accidents, bike accidents, sports injuries, physical violence, and falls
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • A root canal or large dental fillings that weakens the tooth
  • Poor dental habits like ice chewing, gum chewing, and using the teeth as a tool
  • Biting or chewing hard foods or objects, such as chewing a pencil and crunching a piece of hard candy or ice
  • Sudden changes in the mouth temperature, for instance, eating something hot and cooling your mouth with ice water

Symptoms of a cracked tooth

Fractured teeth don’t always come with a symptom, but when they do, you may experience symptoms like:

  • Toothache when chewing or biting
  • Sensitivity to eating sweet foods or temperature changes
  • Swelling around the affected tooth
  • Toothache that comes and goes but is rarely continuous

Types of fractured teeth

Fractured teeth can appear as:

Craze lines: These are extremely small cracks in the teeth’s strong outer covering (enamel) and are common in adult teeth. These cracks require no treatment and cause no pain. Think of them as a teacup with a tiny crack but is still able to hold water without any leakages.

Fractured cusp: These cracks occur around a dental filling or the corner of the teeth. They do not cause much pain since they don’t usually affect the pulp.

Cracks that run into the gum line: A tooth with a vertical crack that runs through it and extends into the gum line may need to be extracted. However, if it has not yet reached the gum line, that tooth is savable and requires prompt dental treatment.

Split tooth: This crack travels from the tooth surface to below the gum line. A tooth with this type of crack can be separated into two segments and cannot be fixed.

Vertical root fractures: This fracture starts below the gum line and travels upward toward the tooth’s biting or chewing surface. This fracture doesn’t usually produce any symptoms unless it becomes infected. A tooth with this crack will most likely be extracted.

How to prevent a cracked tooth

You can’t prevent all your teeth from fracturing, but you can lower your risk of developing a cracked tooth with good dental care practices like:

  • Practicing good gum and teeth care
  • Avoiding chewing on hard objects or foods
  • Avoiding using the teeth as a tool
  • Visiting your dentist regularly
  • Wearing a mouth guard to prevent teeth grinding or protect your teeth if you play sports

How to fix a cracked tooth

When you visit our dental practice in Graham, NC, Dr. Charly Rose will ask about your symptoms and the injury or trauma you’ve experienced. Then, she’ll thoroughly examine your teeth and gums to diagnose the issue and determine the right treatment for you.

The treatment for cracked teeth depends on the extent of the damage. However, Dr. Rose may recommend one of the treatments below to fix your cracked tooth and preserve your oral health:

  • Dental Bonding: This involves using a plastic resin to fill in the fracture and restore the functionality and look of your teeth.
  • Dental Crown: Here, your dentist will fit a dental cap made of ceramic or porcelain over your affected tooth. This option is often used for patients with insufficient natural teeth required for dental veneer treatment.
  • Tooth Extraction: This involves complete removal of the affected tooth. This treatment option is used when the nerves and root of the tooth are severely damaged. Dr. Rose may suggest replacing the missing tooth with a dental implant.
  • Dental Veneer: During this treatment, Dr. Rose will cover the affected tooth (especially the front tooth) with a thin tooth-like porcelain shell. This option is only suitable for patients with a good amount of natural teeth left.
  • Root Canal: This treatment involves the removal of the damaged or infected pulp. This can prevent pain and further weakening of the tooth, and Dr. Rose often recommends it when the crack extends into the pulp.

Sometimes, Dr. Rose may recommend not fixing a cracked tooth at all
. This may occur if you have tiny cracks in your teeth that do not cause pain, affect your appearance, or extend deep below your gum line. 

Risks of leaving a chipped tooth untreated

The sooner you fix a cracked tooth, the better your chances of saving your natural tooth and avoiding complications. A cracked or chipped tooth can lead to bigger dental issues when left untreated. Bacteria can get into the teeth, spread to the bones and gums, and lead to halitosis or an abscessed tooth.

If left untreated, the bacteria can spread to other body parts and cause serious health issues. Moreover, a cracked or chipped tooth can damage the nerve, cause pain, or lead to a root canal.

Cracked teeth treatment provider in Graham, NC

Cracked tooth treatments in Graham, NC

If you have a cracked tooth or you’re experiencing the symptoms of a chipped or broken tooth, you need to see a dental professional immediately to save your tooth and prevent complications.

At Rose Family Dentistry, we offer different treatments for cracked teeth in Graham, NC, and treat our patients the way we want to be treated. We also provide several other dental services to restore your smile and teeth’s functionality. Schedule an appointment with us today to learn more about our services and get your cracked tooth repaired.

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