Although teeth are the most substantial parts of our body, they too can break and crack if not properly taken care of. There are various triggers of a cracked tooth, from chewing on hard foods to grinding your teeth at night. It can even occur naturally as you age.
The pain of a chipped, broken, or cracked tooth is immense. The injury affected to the teeth can be slight to extensive depending upon the condition of the teeth.
Unless the injury is a minor chip, there’s no permanent way to fix it without seeing your dentist in Sacramento, CA. In case of such an injury, it is best to address the pain in the meantime and safeguard your tooth and the inside of your mouth to avoid further damage.
Identifying The Symptoms, Causes, and Types of Crack
It is essential to know that not all cracks will provide symptoms till the last minute. However, the most common indications of a crack in the tooth are:
- Severe sensitivity due to cold, hot, or sweet food or beverages.
- Intense inflammation of the gum around the affected area.
- Bleeding of the gum in the affected area.
- Mild or intense pain when chewing or biting food.
Cracks can be caused due to a variety of reasons. These include:
- Excessive teeth grinding or clenching.
- The large filling done previously is now weakening the entire tooth.
- Chewing on hard foods, such as nuts, candy, ice on a daily.
- Trauma to the mouth, such as blows in a car accident, sporting injury, fall, or even a fistfight, can cause significant cracks.
- Constant temperature changes in the mouth. If you have something cold or hot days, you can cause cracks in your teeth.
- Aging – People over fifty years of age experience cracks in their teeth.
There are many types of cracks that can occur in your teeth ranging from minor to major ones. These include:
Craze lines:These are minor cracks in the solid outer covering enamel of your teeth. They are the ones that cause no pain and are not even that visible. Your dentist will recommend you do not touch them at all.
Fractured cusp:These cracks usually happen around the dental filling areas. They don’t affect the pulp area of the tooth, and neither do they cause any pain.
Extended cracks (into the gum line):For a tooth that has a vertical crack that has extended through it but has not yet reached the gum line can be saved with the proper treatment at the right time. However, if the crack extends to the gum line, it will increase the seriousness of the crack, and the tooth may have to be extracted. It is crucial to get prompt treatment to avoid your tooth from being extracted.
Split tooth:This is when it begins to get painful and severe as the crack has now traveled from its surface to below the gum line. With a crack so intense, it is hard to save the entire tooth. However, your dentist might be able to save some part of the tooth.
Vertical root fracture:This crack begins below the gum line and travels upward. It doesn’t have many symptoms unless infected. If proper medical attention isn’t provided, the tooth has to be extracted.
Things To Avoid When You Can’t See The Dentist Right Away
In circumstances where you can’t see the doctor right away, and you have a cracked or broken tooth, you can do the following to protect your mouth from further damage.
- You must stay away from food and beverages that are very cold or very hot. It is because the tooth’s dentin layer has likely been exposed by the crack or break in the tooth. This may cause severe pain due to extreme temperatures.
- Foods and beverages that have high sugar or are acidic should be avoided at all costs since they may irritate the nerve in the tooth.
- Refrain from biting hard objects such as pencils or pens, as this will only increase the pain.
- If you clench or grind your teeth, it can cause pain to increase. Use a nightguard to avoid doing so.
- It is important to note that when the tooth cracks and the entire tooth remains in the mouth, doctors have advised you not to bite or touch the tooth with your tongue. Constant interaction with the tooth can cause it to crack further and lead to a root fracture.
Easing Your Pain When You Can’t See The Dentist Right Away
If you have a few days to go before your appointment with your dentist, here are a few remedies that may provide you with temporary relief so that your time till your appointment is more tolerable. These remedies may or may not work as every case differs.
Warm salt water rinse:
helps relieve the pain as saltwater works as an antiseptic that removes bacteria from the infected area. You can do this two to three times a day for instant relief.
Over-the-counter pain-relief medication:
You can reduce the pain by using medicines like Tylenol and Advil. If you’re already on medication, ensure that these are safe to take with it.
Flossing between cracked or broken teeth:
Food particles and plaque stuck between your teeth can cause added pain. Removing these will give you relief but be sure to do it gently around the affected tooth.
Oil cloves (eugenol) are a natural anesthetic, it has been used in treating pain for as long as we remember and can be found in almost all health stores.
How to use it – Take a small piece of cotton, soak the clove oil in it and hold the cotton on the affected tooth for about ten seconds. Be sure to not swallow the oil; you can remove access oil by dabbing it on a piece of tissue.
OTC dental anesthetic:
You can use a dental anesthetic such as Orajel (benzocaine) or Anbesol (lidocaine). It is available in most pharmacies. Apart from this, you can cover the tooth with a temporary OTC filling material – dentemp.
Elevate your head:
The nerve inflammation associated with a cracked tooth is the root cause of the pain. You can reduce the pain by elevating your head which will help decrease the pressure in the affected area.
Your doctor will examine your tooth, and treatment will be given depending upon how big the crack or break is and the area where it is.
The potential treatments include:
- A root canal and crown placement
- Tooth polishing
- Tooth bonding
- Tooth extraction and implant placement
If there is a minor chip in the tooth, your dentist might polish the tooth’s surface or smooth the broken or sharp edge. This is known as cosmetic contouring, and it is prevalent nowadays. Your dentist may also use dental bonding to fill in any gaps you may have in your teeth.
If a dentist opts to go for bonding, they may scrape the tooth, put on a preparing liquid, and then apply tooth-colored composite balm. Later, the dentist forms the shape of the tooth. Sometimes depending upon the case, your dentist can reattach a broken bit of the tooth. These are single-visit procedures unless something goes wrong.
A crown is an artificial device made of porcelain or ceramic, which helps cover the cracked tooth. In this process, the dentist will scrape the enamel and take the imprint of your tooth. The imprint will then be sent to a dental lab, where they will get a crown ready for you following your tooth color.
This process takes a couple of weeks, as when the crown returns, your dentist will call you over for a fit and check how it sits over your cracked tooth. A well-fixed and managed crown can last you a lifetime.
A deep crack or chip that has gone far into the surface will need a more extensive repair immediately as it can cause severe pain. In cases when the crack extends down into the pulp, your dentist will recommend you get a root canal.
In the root canal procedure, an endodontist takes out the swollen or infected pulp from your mouth, sanitizes the inside of the tooth, and fills and covers it with elastic-type material. Afterward, your dentist will cap it with a filling or a crown, depending on what is best for your tooth.
A root canal is thought to be one of the many painful procedures that you can get. The reality is that it has become far less painful than it was back in the day, and now it is no more aching than getting a filling done.
Molars have several roots, and if one root is fractured, your dentist can perform a root amputation to save the rest of your tooth. This process is called hemisection. However, a root canal and crown have to be done on the remaining tooth.
Your dentist will recommend finding cracks or hidden canals that are not caught on X-rays or removing calcium deposits from a previous root canal.
The depth of the crack will determine whether or not your dentist will recommend your extraction. Most times, even a root canal won’t save your tooth, and the only option you’ll have is tooth extraction.
If the crack has extended and gone below your gum line, it is recommended to get the tooth extracted. When you agree on getting your tooth extracted, your dentist will advise you to opt for implants as their appearance and purpose are similar to natural teeth.
Most of the time, people have tiny cracks in the enamel of their teeth. These are very common, and if they don’t affect the look of the tooth or produce any kind of pain, it will be advised by your dentist in Sacramento, CA, to let them be as trying to fix them could lead to more significant problems.
Consult Your Dentist
A cracked tooth is not an uncommon experience for most people, and while the crack in the tooth can be repaired, it can never be healed to its actual appearance. There are a range of different procedures accessible to save your tooth and its appearance
Whatever the cause of the pain, your dentist will determine the best course to fix your tooth after evaluating the damage. Don’t be fooled if you stop experiencing pain because a toothache caused by a break or crack can come and go. If you avoid it and try your experiments, it can cause severe issues and complications and increase the pain altogether.
Suppose you are suffering from slight or severe toothache along with bleeding. In that case, it is advised to consult Soft Touch in Sacramento, CA, right away. We will guide you on the best treatment considering your circumstance. You can save your tooth from further complications by taking early action.