Can A Cracked Tooth Heal On Its Own?
A cracked tooth is a common occurrence. The chances of a cracked tooth increase as you age because your tooth enamel weakens over time. Chronic teeth grinding, biting down on something hard, or using your teeth to open something hard could also cause a tooth to crack.
If you know or suspect that you have a cracked tooth, you may be wondering if it will heal on its own or if it needs treatment. Here’s what you should do if you have a cracked tooth.
How Do You Know If Your Tooth Has a Crack?
If the crack in your tooth is not visible or obvious, it can be more difficult to diagnose. Here are some common signs and symptoms of a cracked tooth:
- Sensitivity. If you suddenly have new or increased sensitivity to cold, heat, or sugar in a certain area of your mouth, it may indicate a crack in a tooth.
- Pain that comes and goes. If your tooth hurts some of the time, but not all the time, it often indicates that there is a small crack you can’t see.
- Severe pain. A tooth that is cracked may develop an infection from bacteria that gets inside the tooth. An infected tooth can cause severe pain and should be treated promptly.
- Pain when chewing. If you feel pain when you chew or bite into food, it may be due to a crack in a tooth.
- Swelling of the gums. The gum tissue may swell around the tooth if there is a crack. This is also a sign of possible infection in the tooth.
Does a Cracked Tooth Need Treatment?
A cracked tooth should be treated as soon as possible. If you suspect that you have a cracked tooth, contact your endodontist right away. The crack will not heal on its own, it will only worsen and reduce the chances of saving the tooth. A cracked tooth is at risk for infection. Bacteria can enter the root canal through the crack and infect the dental pulp. If the infection is not treated or if the crack extends too far, the tooth may need to be extracted.
How is a Cracked Tooth Treated?
Cracked tooth treatment typically involves root canal therapy and placement of a crown. Root canal therapy treats or prevents infection by removing the dental pulp from the inside of the tooth and filling it with a replacement material that is resistant to infection. The tooth is able to remain in place with a crown placed over it.
When is a Cracked Tooth Untreatable?
In some cases a crack in a tooth is too severe for the tooth to be saved. If a crack begins in the crown of the tooth and extends under the gums it maynot be repairable. This is called a split tooth because the tooth is essentially split in half even though the pieces may still be connected. A split tooth will need to be extracted and replaced with a bridge or dental implant.
Who Can Treat a Cracked Tooth?
A cracked tooth can be treated by an endodontist. An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in restoring the health of your teeth from the inside out. This makes them especially qualified to treat a cracked tooth. Endodontists perform root canals along with other endodontic procedures. If you have a tooth that is at high risk of infection or already infected because of a crack, an endodontist may have the best chance of saving the tooth.
Why Choose Heart of Texas Endodontics?
Heart of Texas Endodontics provides prompt, effective treatment for cracked teeth. We do all that we can to save your tooth if possible. The sooner you come to us regarding a cracked tooth, the higher the chances that we will be able to save it.