Tooth fractures are more common than you might think. Teeth can crack, chip, or break for a variety of reasons, causing excruciating pain and potentially severe consequences. Fortunately, diagnosing the issue and discussing treatment options with your dentist can help you avoid unnecessary pain and permanent damage.
Continue reading to learn the five most important facts regarding tooth fractures, including their symptoms, causes, and treatment options.
1. What tooth fractures look and feel like
Tooth fractures often go unnoticed for a long time. They typically start as small fissures on the normally smooth tooth surface and are invisible to the naked eye. By using detection dyes on the teeth, your dentist can diagnose them.
Some fractures are visible and can lead to unsightly chips and cracks. In severe cases, One or more of your teeth may shatter, leaving only the pulp and a fragment of dentin adhering to your jawbone.
Minor cracks in the outer surface of your teeth (also called hairline cracks) may cause no discomfort. However, a serious crack that causes tooth parts to shift might irritate the pulp's delicate nerves, resulting in excruciating pain while eating or speaking. Furthermore, the unprotected pulp might be extremely sensitive to hot and cold foods and drinks.
2. Why tooth fractures develop
Even your body’s hardest element, enamel, can only withstand so much. Your enamel might easily break or crack if you forcefully bite down on a solid object. Teeth can also break and chip as a result of a blow to the face or jaw. Even daily wear and tear can cause damage, especially in those older than 50 or diagnosed with teeth grinding.
3. How tooth fractures lead to other problems
Tooth fractures not only cause terrible toothaches, but they also put you at risk of oral infection. Bacteria can infiltrate the insides of your tooth through even the tiniest pits and crevices in your enamel. This can lead to infection, excruciating jaw pain, and toothache.
Don't take an oral infection lightly. If left untreated, it can result in more serious consequences. Bacteria can influence the roots of nearby teeth or spread to different organs in your body via blood arteries in your jaw, putting you at risk of potentially fatal illnesses. The best method to avoid this is to seek treatment right away.
4. Which restorative solutions to consider
Treatment for tooth fractures is determined by the severity of the fracture and the affected area of the mouth. If there is only one or a few tiny cracks, routine monitoring for changes may be all that is required. Restorative treatment may be required if the damaged tooth is particularly sensitive or has been exposed to bacteria and has suffered additional damage.
To protect and cover chips and cracks in your front teeth, consider dental veneers. This restorative option is both minimally invasive and cost-effective. A dental crown, on the other hand, may be more beneficial if the damaged tooth is weak or has had a root canal.
5. When tooth extraction and replacement are required
Restorative treatment may not always be able to save a fractured tooth. Crowning the damaged tooth, for example, does not always fix a deep split or crack. Your tooth may suffer permanent damage, becoming incapable of supporting the crown.
In this case, your dentist may advise you to get it removed. Extraction helps relieve pain and reduce the risk of secondary infection. You can replace the extracted tooth with a dental implant once the extraction site has healed.