Teeth can become cracked or chipped due to biting on hard foods, teeth grinding, falling face first on a hard surface, or other accidents. These cracks can expose the sensitive interior of the tooth and cause pain. They can also be challenging to clean and may attract plaque.
A dental crown can be placed over the broken tooth to protect it from further harm and restore its appearance. Dental bonding may also be used to repair small chips.
If left untreated, minor issues like chips or cracks can lead to much more severe complications, such as tooth loss and the need for more extensive treatments. To avoid needing more drastic treatment, Dr. John Hartman, DDS, at Hartman Dentistry recommends repairing minor damage as soon as possible.
What Causes a Cracked Tooth?
A tooth can become chipped or cracked in various ways, but most cases occur when people bite down and eat hard foods or chew on ice or other hard things like pencils. Traumatic experiences such as falling or being hit in the face can also cause a tooth to crack or chip.
Another common cause of cracked or chipped teeth is teeth grinding or bruxism, a condition that causes patients to grind their teeth while they sleep. Some patients who grind their teeth in their sleep may not even know they have this condition as symptoms may go unnoticed. They may also find that their teeth become worn down over time. This can then cause the teeth to appear shorter than usual.
Even patients who are careful with their diet and care for their teeth may still find themselves with broken or chipped teeth as a result of an accident.
Treatment for Broken or Cracked Teeth
If you have a broken or cracked tooth, you should schedule an emergency visit with our dentist as soon as possible. Our dentist will repair the tooth with a filling to restore its shape and function.
If the dentist feels the damage is too severe for a filling, they may recommend an alternative solution. Depending on the severity of the break, a crown may need to be placed on the tooth immediately to maintain the integrity of the remaining tooth structure. A dental crown will protect the compromised tooth from further damage and help it look aesthetically pleasing again.
If the tooth is infected, the dentist may recommend a root canal and crown to treat the infection and save your tooth. If the damage is minor, our emergency dentist may recommend wearing a protective mouth guard while sleeping to avoid any further cracking of the tooth.
Untreated tooth cracks and chips can cause pain, sensitivity, and other complications such as infections. For the best dental care, visit Hartman Dentistry at 3091 East 98th Street, Suite 220, Indianapolis, IN 46280, or call (317) 581-0215.