Fix Cracked Teeth

You think that you are enjoying a great meal with family or friends to have some laughs and to catch up, but, in actuality, your bite of food has just cracked your tooth.  Whether you were eating a bite of crunchy, raw carrot or sticky peanut brittle, your tooth is cracked in half without any prior hints of problems.  You may not know what to do next, but the dentist does, regardless of why your tooth cracked.  It is important to make an appointment with the dentist quickly before the tooth is beyond repair or most serious problems start.

Reasons a Tooth Might Break

Personal habits can take their toll over time on your teeth and if you clench your jaw or grind your teeth, you may be damaging your tooth enamel.  Once the hard, protective enamel is compromised, your tooth is susceptible to chipping, breaking or cracking.  Other habits like chewing on pens or crunching on ice can cause the same kind of issues to the tooth enamel.  You may not notice if your tooth cracks during the night while you are grinding your teeth, but you will notice your tooth has cracked if the crack extends inside to the pulp of your tooth.  The outside of the tooth does not have the same blood vessels and nervous tissue as the pulp of your tooth, so the deeper cracks will have pain and discomfort while chewing, eating or drinking.  You may notice sudden pain if you are chewing harder food, drinking hot beverages or enjoying cold ice cream.  But if the crack does not extend to the pulp of your tooth, you may not notice the crack in your tooth at all.

What to Do if a Tooth Cracks in Half

The first thing to do as soon as you notice a crack in your tooth is to call the dentist office to make an appointment.  When you are scheduling the appointment, be sure to mention that your tooth is cracked.  You will not want to delay the dental treatment because the longer your tooth is cracked and vulnerable, the higher your risk of infection is.  The infection can start with bacteria in your mouth, extend to an infection in the pulp of the tooth, then the gums and even the jaw bone.  As the infection spreads and intensifies, you will most likely experience more pain and discomfort as well.  Between the time your tooth cracked and your appointment, be sure to keep up with your at home dental care.

How to Repair a Cracked Tooth

Depending on the severity of the crack and where the tooth is in your mouth, the dentist has a variety of treatment options to review with you.  If the crack is small and has impacted just a small portion of the enamel or an existing filling, the dentist can replace the filling or use dental bonding to repair the chip.  If only a small portion of your tooth cracked off or if the crack does not extend below the gum line, the dentist may be able to protect and strengthen the remaining tooth with a crown.  If the crack is more serious or extends through the tooth to the pulp, the dentist may need to perform a root canal or even remove the tooth entirely to keep your mouth free from future infections.

More on Fixing Teeth : Fix Chipped Teeth