Though your teeth should be hard, not brittle, they’re still able to crack and chip. If your tooth cracks, you may or may not be aware of it, at least at first. Paying attention to your teeth while brushing and flossing can help protect the longevity of your teeth.
Even with the best and most observant day-to-day dental hygiene, a cracked tooth is considered a dental emergency, and should be treated as soon as possible.
Dr. Faye Licata is an experienced dentist who offers high-quality emergency dental procedures. With our friendly team at Licata Dental in St. Louis, Missouri, she sees patients with all types of dental emergencies, including cracked teeth. A cracked tooth can’t go unnoticed for long, no matter where in your mouth it’s located.
How did this happen?
A cracked tooth or cracked teeth is a common dental emergency. While a cracked tooth doesn’t carry any fatal risks, your tooth can’t be restored without professional help. Many things can cause a cracked tooth, and risky events and activities happen all the time. The most common causes include:
- Hard, crunchy foods
- Teeth grinding
There are a number of ways that cracks in teeth can manifest, and it’s possible to crack or chip several teeth in different ways. Normally, a crack in your tooth happens on a molar, running from the top, chewing surface down into the root, where your tooth connects to your gums, and where the pulp resides.
Craze lines are superficial cracks in your tooth enamel. Some craze lines may not be attractive, but don’t require special treatment.
The pointiest portion of the chewing surface on your tooth, called the cusp, can crack, putting the rest of your tooth at risk of cracking. A split tooth occurs when a cracked tooth is left untreated and splits into two pieces.
What are my options?
If you have a cracked tooth, don’t panic! The first thing to do is check for pieces of your tooth. If you find any, pick them up, rinse them in cool water, and store them in your cheek or a glass of milk. Contact our office as soon as you can, and we will make an emergency appointment for you.
One option for a cracked tooth is a crown. To place a crown, Dr. Licata may remove a portion of your tooth enamel. From there, she takes a mold to create your crown. After the custom crown is made for your tooth, Dr. Licata uses dental adhesive to secure the crown to your tooth and protect it from additional damage.
If Dr. Licata doesn’t feel that a crown is suitable for you, another option we have is bonding. Tooth bonding involves scraping off a little enamel to prepare for a special resin, colored to match your tooth. After the resin is set, you can go on about your daily routine.
If your tooth is severely cracked, and the crack extends through your tooth to the root, an extraction may be necessary. Dr. Licata will take X-rays to verify that you need a tooth extraction, which can prevent your pain from worsening and stop any infections that could result.
I want to save my tooth!
We want to help you! Dental emergencies aren’t preventable, though a healthy diet with tooth-friendly food and the use of a mouthguard while playing sports can help you protect your teeth from cracks.
If you’ve cracked your tooth, call us at 636-532-2101 or walk in during business hours. For non-emergency appointments, you can also book a visit online.