While maintaining a healthy dental hygiene regimen can ensure that your teeth don’t suffer from decay or gum disease, you can still get a cracked tooth from wear and tear or a traumatic event. Sometimes a cracked tooth will not be immediately noticed but will make itself known when you experience pain while chewing your food, or in response to hot or cold foods. Cracked teeth can be saved and normal function returned with the help of an endodontic specialist.
What Makes A Cracked Tooth So Painful?
The most typical signs of a cracked tooth are pain that doesn’t remain, or only appears when eating. Sometimes it occurs when biting down, others when releasing the pressure on the bite, and most commonly when you eat foods that either very hot or very cold. This pain is caused by the general structure of the tooth and how it becomes compromised when cracked.
The exterior of the tooth is comprised of a solid layer of enamel, the strongest substance in the human body, under which lays the softer dentin. Inside that layer lay the sensitive core of your tooth, the pulp where the nerves and blood vessels are housed. Cracks in the enamel and dentin can result in movement that irritates the pulp, often to the point it becomes incapable of healing.
How Are Cracked Teeth Treated?
Let’s begin with talking about how you don’t treat cracked or chipped teeth. There is a common belief that using oral pain medications or placing crushed up acetaminophen on the affected area is a good way to treat the pain. Pain medications like Anbesol aren’t intended to be used on exposed gum roots, and acetaminophen can actually cause damage to the tooth root when used topically.
Cracked teeth are treated by repairing the damage, provided that the damage can be saved. Root canals are commonly used to treat cracked teeth, providing that the cracks don’t extend beneath the gum line. In the event that they do, the tooth itself will have to be extracted. Other treatments exist for those instances where the tooth has split completely in half, or the fracture begins at the root rather than the crown.
Will My Cracked Tooth Heal After Treatment?
Teeth don’t heal like bones do, and in some cases the crack may continue to grow, ultimately resulting in losing the tooth. The treatment will help reduce the pain from cracked teeth and extend the life of your tooth. Thankfully current treatments typically result in years of use from your cracked teeth free from pain.
If you think you’re suffering from the symptoms of a cracked tooth, District Dental is here to help you! Dr. Kaveh Zand has been a member in good standing of the District of Columbia Dental Society (DCDS) and the American Association of Endodontic Specialists (AAES) for years. Call today at (202) 847-3288 to schedule a consultation, or drop by our offices at 2021 K Street NW, Suite 522, to schedule an appointment. Don’t let a cracked tooth cost you your beautiful smile, stop by today!