Are Your Teeth Cracked? Read Why It's Important To Repair Or Replace Them
Do you have cracked teeth? If so, it’s essential to repair or replace them. Aside from the aesthetic value of getting dental implants in Tarzana, there are other vital reasons to fix cracked teeth. You can get a cracked tooth from chewing on hard foods, grinding your teeth and night, or as you age. In developed nations, cracked teeth are the leading cause of tooth loss. A variety of symptoms can happen from a cracked tooth, ranging from erratic to sudden pain. If you are experiencing the symptoms of a cracked tooth, it’s essential to see a dentist right away. Trusted dentist Dr. Kaveh Kanani can assess the damage to your tooth and determine the best way to treat it. The sooner your trusted Tarzana dentist treats your tooth, the better your outcome will be. Once your dentist fixes your cracked tooth, your teeth will function as they should for many years.
What Is Cracked Tooth?
Tooth cracks, also known as fractures, are vertical or horizontal lines in your teeth. The cracks can appear above and below the gum line. Additionally, tooth cracks can either be visible or invisible to you.
How do I Know If My Tooth Is Cracked?
You will experience a variety of symptoms when you have a cracked tooth. For example, you’ll likely experience erratic pain while chewing, or pain when you expose your tooth to extreme temperatures. The pain will often come and go, making it sometimes hard for your dentist to locate the problem tooth. Other signs of a cracked tooth may include:
- Sharp pain when biting down that disappears quickly
- Pain that comes and goes but doesn’t hurt all the time
- Feeling of pain when eating or drinking, especially hot or cold items
- Alternatively, you may have no pain at all
Teeth cracks don’t always show up on dental X-rays. You can help your dentist identify the problem by noting the following things:
- Note what causes you pain, such as hot or cold foods. Additionally, pain from eating sweet, sour, or sticky food may also be a sign of a tooth crack.
- When you feel the pain, try and determine the location of the pain.
Why Do Cracked Tooth Hurt?
When you bite down, the pressure causes the crack tooth to open, which causes pain. Even if the crack is too small to see, it can open and irritate the pulp inside. The pulp inside your tooth contains nerves and blood vessels. If your tooth crack irritates the pulp, the tooth can become sensitive to extreme heat and cold. Additionally, a tooth crack can also damage the pulp. If there’s damage to the pulp, a root canal treatment may be necessary to save the tooth.
How Do Dentists Diagnose Cracked Tooth?
A dental X-ray will not always reveal a cracked tooth. Also, not everyone has the same symptoms when experiencing a cracked tooth. To diagnose a cracked tooth, Dr. Kanani will likely engage in the following diagnosis methods:
- Inquire about your dental history, like if you chew on hard foods often or grind your teeth at night
- Inspect your teeth, likely using a magnifying lens to find small cracks
- Use a dental explorer over and around the tooth to feel for the crack
- Place a dental dye on your teeth, which can make the crack stand out
- Check from inflammation in your gums. The health of your gums can be a sign for vertical cracks.
- Do a dental X-ray on your teeth. As mentioned, X-rays don’t always reveal cracks, but they can point out bad pulp health.
- Ask you to bite down on something. If you have a tooth crack, you may feel pain when releasing your bite.
How Are Cracked Teeth Treated?
The method for treating cracked teeth depends on the size and location of the crack. Additionally, the symptoms you experience as a result of the tooth crack will determine treatment. Dr. Kanani will discuss which treatment will be best. Your trusted Tarzana dentist may recommend no treatment since small teeth cracks are common. If you’re experiencing pain in a specific area, avoid chewing on that side of your mouth and call Dr. Kanani.
Treatments for cracked teeth may include:
- Tooth repair with a filling
- Addition of a crown to protect the tooth from additional damage
- Root canal treatment if the tooth crack damages the pulp inside your tooth
- If you can’t save the damaged tooth, your dentist may have to remove it
Treatment Methods for Cracked Tooth
Below are descriptions of some of the treatment methods Dr. Kanani may use to fix your cracked tooth. Dr. Kanani’s treatment will depend on the size of the crack, location, symptoms, and if the gum line is affected.
Tooth Bonding to Fix Cracked Tooth
Dr. Kanani will use a plastic resin to fill the crack, repairing its appearance and function.
Crowns To Fix Cracked Tooth
Dr. Kanani may also recommend a dental crown, which is a prosthetic device typically made from porcelain or ceramic. A dental crown fits over the damaged tooth like a cap. To make your crown, Dr. Kanani will shave off some enamel to make room for it. Then, Dr. Kanani will have impressions made of your teeth and match the color to your teeth. It typically takes a couple of weeks to get your crown back from the dental lab. With proper care, a crown can last a lifetime.
Root Canal To Repair Cracked Tooth
If your crack is so extensive that it extends to the pulp, Dr. Kanani may recommend a root canal. A root canal can remove the damaged pulp and repair some reliability to your tooth. Additionally, root canals can prevent your tooth from becoming infected or further weakened.
Removing Cracked Tooth
In some cases, your trusted Tarzana dentist may need to remove the tooth. When the structure of the tooth and the nerves and roots below are damaged, removal could be your only option.
Additionally, Dr. Kanani may decide you don’t need treatment at all. If your tooth crack doesn’t affect appearance and doesn’t hurt, Dr. Kanani may advise leaving it alone.
Why Is It Important To Fix A Cracked Tooth?
One of the biggest problems with a cracked tooth is its ability to cause an infection. A tooth infection can spread to the bone and gums. If your tooth has become infected, here are the symptoms to look out for:
- Pain while chewing
- Swollen gums
- Sensitivity to hot and cold foods
- Tender neck glands
- Bad breath
Dr. Kanani may attempt to drain the pus from the infection and then prescribe an antibiotic.
It’s essential to see your dentist regularly for checkups to diagnose and treat problems early on. Your cracked tooth can become a more severe problem if you don’t handle it. If you feel like you may have a cracked tooth, contact Dr. Kanani. Trusted cosmetic surgeon Dr. Kanani is currently offering free consultations in his Tarzana dental office. Dr. Kanani’s Tarzana dental office is eco-friendly, and his staff is ready to help you. Call Dr. Kanani today.