How to Care for a Cracked or Broken Tooth
If you have a cracked or broken tooth, there are several ways you can care for your tooth while waiting to receive professional dental care. Some things you can do to care for your cracked or broken tooth include:
- Avoid chewing on that side of your mouth
- Avoid hard and very hot or cold foods
- Take over-the-counter painkillers if required to manage any pain and sensitivity
- Rinse your mouth with a warm salt-water rinse in order to flush bacteria from the tooth.
It is advised that you visit your dentist as soon as possible for treatment as to avoid the issue worsening or causing more serious dental issues.
Why Does a Cracked Tooth Hurt?
A cracked or broken tooth can cause a lot of pain and discomfort, particularly when it comes to extreme temperatures. When you bite down, this pressure causes the crack in your tooth to open, and when you stop biting, the pressure is released, causing a sharp pain as the crack closes again.
Although the crack may be microscopic, when it is opened, it causes irritation to the pulp inside the tooth. The pulp is a soft tissue that holds the nerves and blood vessels of the tooth. If the pulp inside the cracks becomes irritated, the tooth can become sensitive to very hot or cold foods and beverages.
A crack in the tooth can result in damage or disease of the pulp, and you may require root canal treatment in order to save the tooth.
A cracked, chipped or broken tooth can happen as a result of many different reasons and can be a very painful experience. The most common causes for a broken tooth include trauma from injury (usually sports injuries), biting into a hard object, teeth grinding and even tooth decay.
What is Cracked Tooth?
A cracked or broken tooth presents problems far beyond affecting the aesthetic appeal of your smile. If you feel a sharp pain when you bite down, and find yourself avoiding certain foods or chewing on the opposite side of your mouth, you may have a cracked or broken tooth. A broken tooth can cause discomfort and pain, and if left untreated, it can lead to more serious issues and even require extraction
What Can Cause A Broken, Cracked or Chipped Tooth?
Some of the causes that lead to a cracked tooth, chipped tooth or broken tooth include:
- Sports injury
- Weak tooth as a result of decay
- Teeth grinding (Due to sleep apnea or nervousness)
- Biting hard objects
- Chewing on hard foods such as ice, nuts, or hardboiled lollies
- An accident such as a blow to the mouth or a fall onto a hard surface
- Uneven chewing pressure
- Excess stress on a tooth
- Loss of the tooth structure due to wear, fillings or other repairs
- Experiencing temperature extremes (e.g. eating hot food and then drinking ice water)
- Fragility of teeth that have endured root canal treatment.
Treatment For Cracked, Chipped Or Broken Teeth
The treatment provided for a broken tooth usually involves cosmetic dentistry that is used to repair a broken tooth. Cosmetic dental treatments include:
What If You Ignore It?
Ignoring a cracked, chipped or broken tooth can lead to severe toothache and eventually loss of your tooth, which may then require endodontic treatment (root canal therapy) or even a dental implant.
How Will a Dentist Treat a Cracked or Broken Tooth?
smile.com.au approved dentists can provide several different treatments to repair a cracked or broken tooth. The type of procedure required will depend on your individual circumstances, including the severity and location of the crack.
Composite bonding repairs cracked and chipped teeth by filling any cracks or gaps with a tooth-coloured resin material. Bonding generally only requires one visit to the dentist, and it is an affordable solution for cracked teeth.
Available in resin-based and ceramic materials, a veneer is a thin covering that is placed over the tooth to repair cracks and chips. A natural looking solution, veneers are generally used for the front and most visible teeth.
Dental crowns (or tooth caps) are a simple solution for restoring cracked or broken teeth. They are available in metal, porcelain fused to metal, resin and ceramic materials.
Depending on the severity of the damage to your tooth, you may require root canal treatment to save the tooth. A root canal is performed to clean out diseased pulp and reseal the canal.
If your cracked tooth is not treatable, it will need to be extracted in order to eliminate pain and avoid further issues, such as decay and infection. Once removed, you can have a dental implant inserted as a replacement tooth.
Cracked Tooth Repair Cost
The cost of cracked tooth repair will depend on which treatment is required for your individual situation.