Some things in life are unavoidable—like a few aches and pains as we grow older. There are other things, however, that we really can prevent. One of them is a cracked tooth. Read on to find out what you should and shouldn’t be doing to keep your teeth strong and sturdy.
What Can I Do to Prevent a Cracked Tooth?
Although the following can’t 100 percent guarantee that you won’t eventually have a cracked tooth, these steps can reduce the risk.
- Break the habit of gnawing on hard objects such as ice cubes, your fingernails, pens and popcorn kernels.
- Be aware of when you clench or grind your teeth and stop.
- If bruxism—grinding and clenching your teeth—is a nighttime habit, then speak to your dentist about wearing a mouthguard.
- Wear an athletic mouthguard to protect your teeth during any kind of sports activity
How Will I Know if My Tooth is Cracked?
Sometimes, cracks in teeth are seen on a digital x-ray before symptoms are noticed. For this reason, scheduling regular dental checkups every six months is all the more important.
However, there is a range of symptoms that may point to a cracked tooth. Some patients notice pain that comes and goes while biting and chewing. This erratic pain may be caused by the release of pressure when biting or changes in temperature as you eat hot and cold foods.
How Can a Cracked Tooth be Repaired?
How your cosmetic dentist chooses to repair a cracked tooth depends on the kind of crack. For instance, there are craze lines, which are microscopic cracks in the enamel layer of a tooth. They are usually shallow and not painful. If their appearance bothers you, then a small amount of composite bonding material can be applied to cover up a craze line.
When the cusp of a tooth cracks and a small portion of the chewing surface breaks away, then the tooth can be rebuilt with either a filling or dental crown. If the exposed tooth structure is sensitive, then bite on a moist piece of gauze or cloth until you can see the dentist.
In the case of a crack that extends from the chewing surface down toward the root, a dental crown can usually prevent the tooth from cleaving. However, if the crack extends beneath the gum line, then the tooth will need to be extracted. For this reason, early treatment of a cracked tooth is always preferable.
Take care to avoid the behaviors that can lead to a cracked tooth, but always seek immediate care when you have one.
Meet the Doctor
Dr. Walt Mick is a family dentist serving patients from Reynoldsburg, OH and the surrounding communities. He and his staff are dedicated to providing exceptional preventive, restorative and cosmetic dentistry to ensure the health and beauty of your smile.