Chips, cracks, and fractures in your teeth have the potential to lead to serious oral health issues. Learn how to recognize when a tooth is damaged so you can see a dentist for treatment right away.
Symptoms & Complications
Cracked teeth can result from biting on hard objects, blows to the mouth or cheeks, and even changes in temperature. Sometimes, the cracks are visible, or you may only experience accompanying symptoms. Following a collision or painful bite, look for the following:
- Small cracks on the tooth surface
- Vertical cracks extending to the gum line
- Pieces of a tooth broken off
- Fractures around fillings and other dental work
- Pain when biting
- Swelling around a tooth
Cracked teeth can lead to infections that spread throughout the gums. You may develop long-term sensitivity. If the interior pulp chamber becomes infected, a tooth can die, so see a dentist immediately to save it.
Minor surface cracks often don’t require treatment. A dentist may fill larger cracks with resin to prevent additional breakage. They can also sculpt replacements for chipped parts of a tooth.
Larger fractures will require a dental crown. If you have an infection, root canal therapy will get rid of it to restore the tooth. If the tooth can’t be saved because of severe breakage and infection, the dentist may extract it.
Prevent cracked teeth by avoiding hard foods like raw vegetables or chewing hard, non-edible objects like pencils or fingernails. Wear a mouthguard during contact sports. Brush and floss your teeth twice a day to maintain their health.
If you have concerns about a cracked tooth, turn to dentist Stephen R. Ho, DDS. Dr. Ho proudly serves Honolulu with over 30 years of general and cosmetic dentistry experience. He also provides emergency care when the unexpected occurs. Call (808) 949-4288 to schedule a checkup, and visit his website to learn more about his offerings.