Treating a cracked Tooth is one of the most rewarding dental procedures we do here at the clinic. Spotting discomfort early and fixing the tooth saves so many future problems. It is the very best of preventative dentistry.
Winning Smiles is a full-service private dental practice treating general, cosmetic, orthodontic and dental implant needs from our state-of-the-art dental practice between Romford and Brentwood, Essex.
How can I tell if I have a cracked tooth?
- Sensitive to sweet foods, cold food and cold weather
- Swelling in the gum near the tooth, which can also be sensitive.
- The problem can be very intermittent, and, therefore, you think it’s now all fine.
Not so easy to tell if you have a cracked tooth?
It sounds obvious, but with cracked teeth, it’s not always a constant feeling; the issue and tooth pain can often come and go and be hard to spot visually.
The key with adult teeth is to try and notice and do something about it early. Getting dental treatment to save you trouble and tooth loss down the line. This article is to help explain what can happen and spot the signs.
Cracked teeth explanation
The outer tooth is white enamel; under that is a hard substance called dentin. When the tooth cracks, these can move and disturb the pulp underneath, which is where the nerves and blood vessels are.
It might only happen at certain times or angles, but when the pulp and nerves are irritated by the movement, that’s when the discomfort and sharp pain can happen.
Over time it can get more frequent.
Left untreated, these things tend to get more damaged and possibly infected. One sign might be bad breath from the infection. More dental treatments are available than ever, including composite bonding materials directly on the tooth’s surface to stop the crack from worsening.
Which teeth are likely to be affected?
The front upper teeth and the back lower teeth are most likely to suffer from a break.
If the patient is prone to tooth cavities anyway, the risk of a cracked tooth is higher. As is taking part in contact sports! Also, grinding teeth can be sustained pressure on the bite and wear down tooth enamel. And prolonged exposure to sugary foods can make it more likely to suffer tooth fractures.
Save the broken tooth.
Our primary concern is to retain and preserve our patients’ teeth’ natural beauty and function, as much as possible, for a lifetime.
Managing discomfort is one thing, but it’s normally the early warning sign we pay attention to. The earlier we act, the simpler and less costly these things tend to be.
How to tell?
Signs of a cracked tooth
If you have pain from time to time when chewing or releasing the bite, it could be a sign of a cracked tooth.
A crack might make itself known if your tooth is sensitive to sweet foods, and cold food and cold weather can often highlight something wrong. There might also be swelling in the gum near the tooth, which can also be sensitive.
Because it can be intermittent, be mindful and see if you can identify the source.
The different ways that teeth can crack
When the tooth starts to break from the surface of the tooth, where the bite happens, down to the base towards the root, it can be repaired invisibly.
These are some more ways to tell what might be happening – from least to most damaging
These are surface-level cracks that are only enamel deep. There is no real problem unless the appearance bothers you; it isn’t a broken tooth as such, mainly cosmetic.
Fractured or cracked cusp
The chewing surface of a tooth comes under a lot of pressure, and edge pieces of this surface area can break off.
A fractured cusp is less likely to affect the pulp and nerves; we can repair this with a tooth-coloured filling material and, in bigger cases, crowns and overlays.
However, if breathing through your mouth or drinking causes pain, there might also be a crack in the tooth.
A split tooth can happen if a cracked tooth has been left for a while. The crack can extend and allow the now separated pieces of tooth to move.
If the tooth is completely split, the whole tooth likely can’t be saved entirely. We would save the surviving part of the tooth with endodontic treatment.
Endodontic Treatment: this means work that is carried out to do with the inside of the tooth and is part pain diagnosis and management, and part saving and preservation of damaged teeth.
Vertical Root Fracture
This is the hardest-to-spot symptom of all types of cracked teeth. There are minimal signs, and often there is an infection of the surrounding gum and bones that gives it away.
Teeth don’t heal in the same way bones do. It might be the tooth needs extracting at that point. If endodontic treatment can save part of the tooth, we’ll do what we can to save it. However, cracks can continue after treatment, so it will be a judgement call when we see the nature of the problem.
The most problematic
- Whether the tooth can be saved is the most important call
- Making sure we are taking the right path saves consternation later
- We keep you informed every step of the way.
- Successfully treated teeth can give you years of function.
If suffering, rinsing your mouth with warm water and potentially salted water can alleviate pain in the short term. Normal headache remedies and ice packs can also help.
Composite Resin Treatment
Minor and cosmetic problems can be treated with wonderful new composite resin materials.
Ultra strong and colour-matched, in the hands of our cosmetic dentists, we also use composite and bonding for veneers and reshaping gaps and evening the appearance of teeth.
Root Canal Treatment
If the crack has gone below the gum line or into the root, then a Root Canal is the best chance of saving the tooth. Repairing the original tooth is achieved by removing the pulp and draining any abscess.
The strengthening of the tooth will restore its function.
We are proud of our reviews
Many people are naturally nervous, and you’ll find we are very experienced at putting people at ease because we take the time to explain absolutely everything. You are always in control, with a very caring team that delivers pain management as a standard part of the experience. We are proud of our many positive reviews from nervous patients.
External providers counts of our reviews, are independently verified, but we also have an internal review system, so we can show them through the site.
FREE Dental Consultation
Without seeing things for ourselves, we can’t tell people what their options are.
And so with that in mind, we are happy to offer free consultations, as this is a big decision for most people. We are careful to take budget, comfort and appearance into account when explaining all the available choices and there is never any pressure to proceed, and certainly not on the day.
Winning Smiles is a friendly practice and we try to provide everybody with what’s right for them, at an affordable cost and hope our dentist reviews give that impression.