When teeth crack or break, this is called a fractured tooth.
Treatment depends on the location, severity, and type of the crack.
Fractured tooth symptoms
A visible crack, chip, or fracture might be obvious, but some hairline tooth fractures may be hard to detect visually. Any part of the tooth typically can be cracked, not just the part that you can see.
Here are a few signs that you might have a fractured tooth:
• Sharp pain while eating, especially when chewing or biting down
• Sudden hot or cold sensitivity
• Pain that comes and goes
• Swollen gums around the cracked tooth
To help diagnose a cracked tooth, your dentist will probably do the following:
1. Ask about your dental history, such as whether you chew on a lot of hard foods or grind your teeth.
2. Make a visual examination.
3. Feel for the crack.
4. Use a dental dye, which can make the crack stand out.
5. Probe your gums looking for inflammation.
6. Dental X-ray.
Types of tooth fractures
· Craze lines – Craze lines are tiny cracks that only affect the outer layer of the teeth. They are common in all adult teeth and don’t cause any pain. While they’re technically tiny fractures, craze lines don’t constitute a fractured tooth emergency.
• Cracked tooth
• Fractured cusp
• Vertical root fracture
• Split tooth
If your tooth is cracked or fractured, don’t panic.
Ways for temporarily relieving pain or discomfort.
1. Immediately rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area.
2. Call your dentist right away.
3. See your dentist (or visit an emergency clinic) as soon as possible for emergency treatment.
4. Put cold compresses on the face to keep swelling down.
5. Avoid chewing with the affected tooth.
What can typically cause a fractured tooth?
- Biting down too hard on a piece of food
- Excessive teeth grinding
- Being hit in the face or the mouth
- Cavities that weaken the rest of the tooth
- Large existing fillings that weaken the rest of the tooth
Fractured tooth treatment
- No treatment . Some tooth cracks such as craze lines are harmless and require no treatment at all.
How to prevent tooth fractures
- Don’t chew on hard objects such as popcorn kernels, ice, or pens.
- Don’t clench or grind your teeth.
- Wear a mouthguard or protective mask when playing contact sports.
- Don’t use your teeth as tools. For example, to cut masking tape.
- Practice good oral hygiene at home by brushing your teeth twice a day, cleaning between your teeth daily, and limiting consumption of sugary foods and drinks
- Visit the dentist regularly twice a year.
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