Having cracked teeth is a common dental condition that many individuals suffer from. Although most people do not realize it, cracked teeth can be attributed to a wide range of reasons. There are several factors that can influence the rate at which a patient’s teeth can break and, therefore, the treatment options that are best suited to them.
Causes of Cracked Teeth
Various causes contribute to the development of cracked teeth. Some of them are the following:
1. Tooth Grinding
Tooth grinding can cause cracks to appear between teeth. This occurs when the patient clenches their teeth or grinds them together in their sleep. Patients will often experience headaches, jaw, or facial pain if they are grinding their teeth.
If a patient suffers from cracked teeth due to an injury, the cracks will be sharp and deep. The damage tore into the enamel and dentin, which is the hard substance found underneath the tooth’s surface.
3. Tooth Decay
Tooth decay can also cause teeth to crack. This happens when the affected tooth is restored with a filling but is too weak to support the filling.
4. Porcelain Crowns
Sometimes teeth can become cracked when a porcelain crown is applied. This is usually due to the crown being applied too tightly or quickly with excessive pressure.
Some individuals may experience cracked teeth when the tooth becomes hypersensitive to heat, cold, sweet, or sour. If this occurs, it can cause them to avoid such foods as they will be too painful to eat.
Many foods and drinks contain acid, which can cause tooth enamel to become thin and begin to decay. This means that the tooth’s hardness will be reduced and more susceptible to being cracked.
7. Tooth Structure
The structure of the patient’s teeth can also cause them to crack. This happens to teeth with a small amount of enamel over their surface.
During pregnancy, a mother-to-be may experience teeth cracks due to the release of hormones. The lower jaw may not have enough room to allow for normal teeth movement. Therefore, the teeth may become more mobile and more susceptible to cracking.
Treatment Options for Cracked Teeth
It is vital to seek the help of an experienced dentist if you are showing symptoms of cracked teeth or are already suffering from the condition. The type of treatments that are most commonly used for cracked teeth are:
Bonding a cracked tooth together is a common treatment option for this condition. The dentist will usually carry out a scan to check for any damage underneath the tooth’s surface. Once they have done this, they can place a thin coat of composite resin over the tooth to mend it.
If the crack is located near the tooth’s edge or on the tooth’s chewing surface, the dentist may opt to apply a veneer. This is a thin shell made from porcelain, gold, or composite resin bonded onto the surface of the affected tooth.
The dentist will use a mold to make an impression of the patient’s teeth and gums, which they will then send off to the dental laboratory. Once they have received the veneer, they will then attach it to the surface of the patient’s tooth and trim it to fit.
If the patient has a tooth that is just beginning to show signs of cracking and is too small to apply a veneer, they may opt to place a filling in the area instead. This can prevent the tooth from breaking further; however, it will only work if the size of tooth enamel that has been eroded is small.
If an individual’s teeth have large cracks that extend deep into the enamel, dentin, and even to the tooth’s root, it is likely that they will need to have their tooth crowned. This is a relatively straightforward procedure, which the dentist will carry out in their dental office.
Cracked teeth can be caused by several factors, so it is important to be aware of all of them so you can take the appropriate action if you need to. If you are suffering from cracked teeth and are unsure of what treatment is best for you, it is recommended that you visit an experienced dentist to find out.
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