A cracked tooth can be a distressing experience, often causing discomfort and concern about its prognosis. Understanding the nature of cracked teeth, their causes, symptoms, and available treatments is essential for addressing this dental issue promptly and effectively. Individuals may wonder, “Can a cracked tooth be saved?” This question underscores the importance of exploring the various aspects of cracked teeth and their potential for preservation.

Can A Cracked Tooth Be Saved?

The prognosis for a cracked tooth depends on various factors, including the type and extent of the crack, its location, and how promptly it receives professional attention. While not all cracked teeth can be saved, advancements in dental technology and treatment options have increased the likelihood of preserving damaged teeth.

Causes Of Cracked Teeth

saving cracked tooth croydonUnderstanding the diverse causes of cracked teeth is essential for adopting preventive measures and addressing potential risk factors. Various factors can contribute to the development of cracks in teeth, ranging from external trauma to habitual behaviours.

  • Biting Hard Foods: One common cause of cracked teeth is biting into hard foods, such as ice, popcorn kernels, or hard candies. The force exerted during chewing on exceptionally hard substances can lead to fractures in the tooth enamel.
  • Teeth Grinding (Bruxism): Persistent grinding or clenching of teeth, known as bruxism, can contribute to developing cracks. The continuous pressure applied during teeth grinding may weaken the enamel over time, making the teeth more susceptible to fractures.
  • Trauma And Accidents: Accidents, falls, or impacts during contact sports can result in cracked teeth. The force generated from a sudden blow to the face or mouth can cause fractures in the enamel, requiring prompt attention to prevent further damage.
  • General Wear Over Time: Natural wear and tear on teeth over the years can also lead to cracks. As teeth endure the rigours of daily use, the cumulative effect of general wear may eventually result in the formation of tiny cracks in the enamel.
  • Chewing On Inedible Objects: Habits like chewing on pencils, pens, or other inedible objects can contribute to developing cracks. The hard and unyielding nature of these objects can put stress on the teeth, leading to fractures.
  • Teeth Clenching: Frequent teeth clenching, often due to stress or anxiety, can create excessive pressure on the teeth. Over time, this pressure may contribute to the formation of cracks, especially in individuals who clench their teeth unconsciously.
  • Biting Ice: Chewing on ice may seem harmless, but it poses a risk of causing cracks in the teeth. Ice’s extreme temperature and hardness can weaken the enamel and make it susceptible to fractures.
  • Using Teeth As Tools: Using teeth to open packages, crack nuts, or perform tasks that teeth are not designed for can lead to cracks. Teeth are meant for chewing, and subjecting them to undue stress from non-chewing activities increases the risk of damage.
  • Sudden Impact: A sudden impact to the face, whether from a fall, accident, or sports injury, can result in immediate cracks or fractures in the teeth. Seeking prompt dental attention is crucial in such cases to prevent complications.


Types Of Cracked Teeth

Understanding the various types of cracked teeth is crucial in determining the appropriate treatment and assessing the prognosis. Every kind has different difficulties and needs different dental treatments.

Craze Lines

Tiny fissures that solely damage the tooth’s outer enamel are called craze lines. These superficial fractures are usually regarded as innocuous and may show up as tiny surface lines. Although frenzy lines seldom hurt or cause discomfort, some people may find them to be a cosmetic problem. Dental bonding or other cosmetic procedures can be employed to address the appearance of craze lines if desired.

Fractured Cusp

A fractured cusp is the term used to describe when a fragment of the tooth’s chewing surface breaks off. This crack usually doesn’t extend into the pulp, making it less severe than other tooth fractures. A dental filling or crown is commonly employed to restore the tooth’s structure and functionality, preventing further damage.

Vertical Root Fracture

Vertical root fractures occur when a crack initiates in the tooth’s root and extends upwards. These fractures can be difficult to find and may go undiagnosed for some time since they affect the root. Vertical root fractures can lead to infection and tooth loss if left untreated. Early intervention, often involving a root canal procedure, is crucial to addressing this type of crack.

Split Tooth

When a cracked tooth progresses without intervention, it may become a split tooth. This advanced stage involves the tooth splitting into distinct segments, posing a significant challenge for preservation. Extraction may be the only viable option when a split tooth is identified. Early detection and treatment of less severe cracks can prevent the progression to a split tooth and allow for more conservative interventions.

Symptoms Of Cracked Teeth

Recognising the signs of a cracked tooth is crucial for seeking timely treatment:

  • treating cracked tooth croydonErratic pain when chewing or applying pressure to the tooth.
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, particularly in the affected tooth.
  • Sudden pain that comes and goes without an apparent cause.
  • Pain when releasing the bite after chewing.
  • Swelling of the gums surrounding the impacted tooth.
  • Visible cracks in the tooth that may not always be obvious.

What To Do When You Have A Tooth Crack

If you suspect you have a cracked tooth, it’s essential to consult a dentist as soon as possible, especially if you’re experiencing pain or discomfort. Here are the steps to take:

  • Contact Your Dentist: Inform them about your symptoms and dental history. Prompt treatment can prevent further damage and relieve symptoms.
  • Avoid Hard Foods: Until you see a dentist, refrain from biting into hard or crunchy foods that could worsen the crack.
  • Practise Good Oral Hygiene: Gently brush and floss around the cracked tooth to prevent infection.
  • Consider Pain Management: Over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate discomfort while awaiting treatment.
  • Protect Your Tooth: If your tooth cracks extend to the gum line, protecting the tooth from further damage is crucial, especially during activities like contact sports.

Treatment Options For A Chipped Tooth

The degree and size of the crack determine the best course of action for a cracked tooth:

  • Dental Bonding: Dental bonding with a tooth-coloured resin can restore the tooth’s appearance and function for small cracks.
  • Dental Crown: For larger cracks or to reinforce a tooth that is already fragile, a dental crown may be required to cover the affected area and stop more fractures.
  • Root Canal Treatment: If the break reaches the tooth’s pulp, a root canal procedure may be required to remove the damaged pulp and ease pain.
  • Dental Implant: In cases where the crack is severe, and the tooth cannot be saved, extraction followed by a dental implant may be necessary to replace the lost tooth.
  • Regular Dental Check-Ups: Routine dental visits allow your dentist to identify and address cracks early, preventing complications and preserving natural teeth.

Frequently Asked Questions

procedure in saving cracked tooth croydonCan a cracked tooth heal on its own?

Unlike other bones in the body, teeth cannot heal on their own. Once a tooth is cracked, prompt dental treatment is necessary to prevent further damage.

Is a cracked tooth a dental emergency?

While not all cracked teeth are emergencies, severe pain, swelling, or a visible crack extending to the gum line should prompt immediate dental attention.

How can I prevent cracked teeth?

Avoid biting hard objects, wear a mouthguard during contact sports, and address grinding or clenching habits with your dentist to reduce the risk of cracked teeth.

What happens if a cracked tooth is left untreated?

Untreated cracked teeth can lead to infection, further damage, or tooth loss. Early intervention is crucial to saving the tooth and preventing complications.

Treating Your Broken Tooth

A cracked tooth can be saved with timely intervention and appropriate dental treatment. People are better able to seek timely care and maintain their dental health when they are aware of the key causes, symptoms, and available treatment choices for cracked teeth. Keep in mind that dental problems like fractured teeth are greatly prevented and treated by routine dental check-ups and proper oral hygiene habits.

Call Maroondah Dental Care, Croydon, VIC 3136, at (03) 9007 2532 to save your natural tooth.

Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.


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