Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. This doesn’t mean it is invincible. Your teeth can break, chip or crack under certain pressures. While decay and infection can weaken a tooth, even a strong, healthy tooth can crack during a bad fall or when biting down on something too hard. It is very possible to crack a tooth without immediately realizing you’ve done it. This makes it highly important to know the warning signs of a cracked tooth.
Tooth Cracks Always Need Treatment
A cracked tooth should never be taken lightly. When the outer layers of the tooth are compromised, the entire tooth is left vulnerable to decay, infection and even tooth loss. The good news is that when tooth cracks are caught early, they can be treated conservatively in most cases. A simple dental bonding or composite filling procedure can restore the health and integrity of a cracked tooth. For more serious tooth cracks, a dental crown may be used to remedy the tooth.
Symptoms of a Cracked Tooth
Tooth cracks aren’t always visible to the naked eye. In many cases, you have to rely on certain symptoms to know you have tooth damage. If you experience any of the following, you may have a cracked tooth that needs attention:
- Severe pain in a single tooth or multiple teeth
- Pain or discomfort while chewing or biting down
- Tooth sensitivity to cold, hot, sour, and/or sweet foods and drinks
- A visible line in a tooth
- Discoloration in a tooth
Preventing a Cracked Tooth
Are you doing your part to guard against tooth cracks? Beyond routine dental visits and strong oral hygiene, it is important to avoid bad oral habits. Nail biting, opening bottles with your teeth and ice chomping should be avoided. If you grind your teeth or play a contact sport, you should consider wearing a custom mouth guard to protect your smile.
For more tips on cracked tooth repair or prevention, call Park South Dentistry! You get one set of teeth for a lifetime – let us help you care for them!