Cracked Teeth And How They Are Treated
A cracked tooth occurs when the bite pressure exceeds the amount of force that the tooth can sustain. People may suffer from cracked teeth from biting on a particularly hard item or from regularly grinding their teeth.
Once you develop a crack in one of your teeth, you may wonder whether or not the crack can heal without dental intervention. Here is a bit of information about cracked teeth and how they are treated.
Can a Dental Crack Be Sealed Through a Natural Healing Process?
Although a tooth is quite similar in appearance to a bone, its composition is different. Bone tissue and teeth both contain calcium phosphate. However, bone is made primarily of a flexible protein called collagen. Teeth do not contain collagen.
In addition, although the center of a tooth is made of soft living material, the tooth enamel is not. Thus, the enamel cannot heal or regenerate. When a tooth cracks, the underlying layers of tooth material may also be affected. However, the enamel, as the outermost layer, displays visible damage.
Can All Cracked Teeth Be Repaired by a Dentist?
Many cracked teeth can be repaired. Even if the damage breaches the inner layers of a tooth, there are often dental procedures, such as root canal treatments, to restore the tooth. However, if a tooth is cracked through its roots, it becomes unsalvageable. The only available treatment is extraction.
How Can You Tell That Your Tooth Is Cracked When the Crack Is Not Readily Visible?
Sometimes, a crack can occur in an area of a tooth that is not easily seen when you smile or speak. Nevertheless, you are likely to experience symptoms because of the dental crack. Here are a few indications that you have cracked a tooth:
- Excessive dental sensitivity to heat and cold
- Discomfort when chewing
- Gingival swelling
- Throbbing toothache
What Are the Treatments Available for a Cracked tooth?
There are multiple procedures that a dentist may perform after you crack a tooth. They choose the treatment based on the level of damage.
If the crack is minor, the dentist may be able to treat the tooth by applying dental bonding material. However, if the crack extends to the pulp of the tooth, a root canal treatment may be needed. Additionally, cracks that compromise the integrity of the tooth structure but do not breach the roots of the tooth may require the application of a dental crown.
If you have a cracked tooth, schedule a consultation with a family dentist in your local area.