Diagnosing & Treating a Cracked Tooth

While our teeth are typically very strong, over time they can break down and become weakened. This can make it possible for your tooth to crack if in this weakened state during eating hard food, getting hit while playing sports, and many other scenarios. It can happen to the best of us and luckily with today’s modern dental technology, a cracked or chipped tooth is nothing to worry about as it can be easily fixed. First, it is important to understand the different causes of a cracked tooth are.

What causes a cracked tooth?

There are many different ways that a person’s tooth can crack. Some more common situations are likely the cause with some extreme, rare situations mixed in between. Here are some of the more common reasons why your tooth might crack unexpectedly:

  • Eating food that is hard
  • Sports accident such as getting hit in the face
  • Long-term untreated cavities that begin deteriorating
  • Very old fillings
  • Accident causing facial damage

What are the symptoms of a cracked tooth?

While pain is the number one symptom that is associated with a cracked tooth, this is not the only symptom that accompanies a cracked tooth. Some cracked teeth can be more difficult to identify and may involve different symptoms. A few other symptoms that are common of a cracked tooth include:

  • Sensitivity
  • Bad breath
  • Sharp pain
  • Uncomfortable when chewing

If you are experiencing any or all of these symptoms, it is best to go get your tooth checked out to see if it is cracked or not. It’s very important to fix a cracked tooth as soon as possible when it’s found rather than waiting and potentially causing additional problems.

How do you fix a cracked tooth?

When your tooth has been more severely damaged from a crack, fixing the crack can be a little more complex. This especially holds to be true if the crack is caused from an old cavity or filling left untreated. For these severe cases, your dentist will probably recommend a root canal treatment in order to fix the tooth. This option is reserved for cases of intense pain and sensitivity issues with your teeth. On the other hand, if you only have a small crack without an infection and minimal pain, this tooth can usually be fixed with tooth cement. This substance can be molded to your tooth to fill the crack completely and sanded to mimic the shape of your tooth. Therefore, depending on your own situation, different treatment options may be recommended to you in order to fix the tooth.

Does a root canal fix a cracked tooth?

In short, the answer is yes, a treatment such as a root canal can be acceptable for fixing a cracked tooth. If the crack reaches the pulp of the tooth, a root canal can preserve the tooth and fill in the crack. However, if the crack extends below the gum line, it is no longer treatable by a root canal and other options must be looked at instead.

Does a crown fix a cracked tooth?

In some cases, a crown can also be a viable solution to fix a cracked tooth. In order to protect the remaining tooth, a crown can be placed over this tooth for protection. This will help improve the strength and longevity of the cracked tooth and prevent it from further cracking.

What other options fix a cracked tooth?

There can be other options to fix a cracked tooth depending on the situation. Your dentist will know best about what these options are and what is the best one for you. Some of these alternative options other than a root canal or crown can include using a tooth-colored filling to seal the gap. These options are usually for smaller, less severe cracks in the tooth.

Final Thoughts

If you think that you may be experiencing a cracked tooth, please contact us immediately so we can further assess the situation of your tooth. Remember that no two situations are really the same when it comes to cracked teeth and even the options for fixing these teeth. It is always best to get professional dental advice regarding your cracked tooth. We are always here to answer any questions you might have and we are here to help you get in to see one of our knowledgeable dentists.

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