Did you know that you might not even know if you have a cracked tooth? This is especially true if the crack is really small or the cracked tooth is in the back of your mouth. Sometimes the crack is near a filling, which can also make it hard to see. Some people might have symptoms of a cracked tooth, such as tooth pain while chewing or increased sensitivity to hot or cold foods. In many cases, the only way a person realizes they have a cracked tooth is during a routine dental exam.
If your dentist tells you that your tooth is cracked, here are three things you should know.
1. Know What Causes a Cracked Tooth
Sometimes a tooth cracks simply because of wear and tear. It may also be more common for aging adults to have a cracked tooth. This is because as people age, there is a reduction in the number of blood vessels inside the tooth's pulp. Fewer blood vessels mean the teeth become more brittle, which enables them to crack more easily. Other common causes of a cracked tooth include biting on hard food, such as candy or ice, pressure from grinding the teeth and sustaining an injury to the mouth.
2. Know the Treatment Options
A dentist that notices a cracked tooth will provide you with a couple of different treatment options. These treatment options depend upon which tooth is cracked, the size of the crack, and whether other parts of the tooth are affected.
In some cases, the dentist will simply fill the crack with resin. In other cases, the dentist will recommend putting a crown over the cracked tooth. If the crack is severe and it is causing problems with the nerves and roots below the tooth, the dentist may have to do either a root canal or an extraction. If the dentist needs to perform a tooth extraction, you might be able to replace it with a dental implant.
3. Know the Complications of Having a Cracked Tooth
There are some instances when a cracked tooth is not going to cause any further problems. This is true if the crack is tiny and it does not affect the function of the tooth. When the crack is more severe, however, not treating it could result in complications. The complications of a cracked tooth include pain, swollen gums, bad breath, and sensitivity.