Detecting and Treating a Cracked Tooth

Getting a cracked tooth can be painful for some while for others, they may not even know that a fracture has taken place. Regardless, having a cracked tooth can hurt your smile whether or not you experience symptoms.

Sustaining a tooth injury has the potential to create different types of cracks in your tooth.
Since fractured teeth can lead to tooth loss, you shouldn’t delay getting treatment from your dentist. How do you know if you have a cracked tooth and how can you treat it?

How to Tell If Your Tooth Is Cracked

A cracked tooth may not be obvious even if you do have an accident that affects your smile.

However, the pain may manifest itself through tooth sensitivity or pain when chewing or biting your food. For others, a cracked tooth may be asymptomatic depending on the location and severity of the crack.

There are numerous diagnostic methods your dentist may use to tell if you have a cracked
tooth, including an oral exam or a radiograph [1]. Even if you’re not aware of a tooth injury, your dentist may be able to tell if you have a cracked tooth during your regular dental exam as well.

How to Treat a Fractured Tooth

Treatment for your cracked tooth will depend on the location of the crack and how severe it is.

For instance, you may have fractured the biting surface of your tooth, which typically doesn’t cause damage to the inside of the tooth where nerve tissue lies. However, your dentist may still need to place a filling or a crown over the tooth to keep it safe from bacteria and decay and prevent future damage [2].

If the crack extends below the gumline and all the way to the tooth’s root, it’s likely that you’ll need root canal therapy to save your tooth and stop the crack from spreading even more. If you have a split tooth that completely separates the tooth into two or more pieces, an extraction may be your only treatment option.

If you’ve just recently cracked a tooth and have a piece that may have separated from the
intact tooth, be sure to save the tooth fragment in a container with saliva or milk and see your dentist as soon as possible [3].

Preventing Damage to Your Smile

Preventing cracked teeth is as easy as not misusing your smile for things like cracking nuts, chewing on ice, or opening packages. Cracked teeth can also be caused by teeth grinding, so if you wake up with headaches, an aching jaw, or sore teeth, it’s time to see your dentist.

Of course, accidents do happen and can cause tooth fractures that negatively impact your smile. Regardless of what’s caused your cracked tooth, getting prompt treatment from your dentist can help restore your tooth and prevent the need for additional treatment.

While having a cracked tooth isn’t the end of the world, it will require professional treatment from your dentist. If you’ve experienced a recent tooth injury or have an old injury that’s causing you discomfort, contact your dentist for an evaluation as soon as possible!