You've cracked a tooth, but it isn't bothering you, so you don't do anything about it. Does this scenario sound familiar? Many people believe that a broken tooth isn't a big deal if they don't experience pain, but that isn't always true. Allowing a broken tooth to exist without treatment may lead to tooth decay and even bigger problems.
Why Do the Teeth to Crack in the First Place?
Teeth can crack for a variety of reasons. If you grind your teeth at night, this unnatural pressure can cause a break. Biting down onto a hard piece of food, a pencil, or ice could lead to a fracture, as can an injury or trauma to the mouth. Additionally, a large existing filling might weaken the remaining tooth structure and cause a crack.
What Causes Tooth Decay in a Crack?
A crack in the tooth creates a hole in which bacteria can congregate. There, they will feed on sugars and create acids that will further wear away at the structure of the tooth. Unfortunately, your toothbrush may not be able to reach this space to clean it properly, so the problem will worsen with time. Ultimately, this can cause decay, and if the cavity isn't treated in a timely manner, you may need a root canal to save the tooth.
How Are Cracks Repaired?
There are a few treatment methods available to treat a cracked tooth, and the location and severity of the fracture will be the determining factors. A small crack may only need a composite or amalgam filling to repair. If the crack extends into the dentin layer or the tooth is cracked in half, you might need a root canal in order to correct the problem.
If you've cracked, chipped, or broken a tooth, you'll need proper treatment to prevent decay and other issues. Call our office today to set up your appointment.