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Can a Completely Cracked Tooth Be Fixed?

Suddenly cracking or chipping a tooth can be a painful and alarming experience, one that requires immediate dental treatment. This type of dental accident often happens when you least expect it, and it can occur even if you follow proper dental hygiene practices. In the event you crack your tooth, you need to follow certain steps that can prevent further dental trauma. Contacting Stuart Curry Dentistry as soon as possible after the accident can help save your tooth and prevent complications in the future. 

Can a Completely Cracked in Half Tooth Be Fixed? 

Teeth are pretty durable and they’re designed to handle chewing, biting, and crunching all types of solid food. However, sometimes, chronic conditions, such as grinding teeth, or a blow to the mouth, can generate enough force to cause a tooth fracture.

A person who has had root canal treatment, large dental fillings, or a history of tooth decay will be more susceptible to fractures.

But once a tooth has been cracked, can it still be saved? It’s possible and can depend on many factors. Read on to learn more.

The Difference Between a Cracked Tooth and Chipped Tooth 

There are several ways you can distinguish between a tooth that’s cracked and one that’s chipped. When a portion of a tooth breaks off, that tooth will have a chip in it.

A cracked tooth involves damage that can extend past the enamel portion of the tooth, into the support layer or the interior of the tooth.

Chipped teeth are mostly a cosmetic problem, while a cracked tooth is considered a health problem, one that requires immediate dental attention since it can lead to serious complications.

Reasons A Tooth Might Crack

There are many ways a tooth can become cracked. In some cases, it can happen when a person grinds their teeth at night or clenches their jaw during sleep.  Extreme tooth grinding can result in many severely damaged teeth if a person does not seek immediate treatment and use a mouthguard at night. 

If a person has weak teeth, their risk of a split tooth or broken teeth is higher compared to someone with strong teeth. Weak teeth have eroded enamel or may have large fillings that have weakened the structure of the teeth. A weakened tooth structure means cracks and chips can occur more easily.

A split tooth can also occur when consuming hard foods, such as potato chips, ice cubes, and hard candy, or biting down on a popcorn kernel that didn’t pop. To prevent a tooth fracture when eating hard food, make sure you chew slowly and eat hard food with care.

A fall or blow to the mouth can also cause a serious tooth injury, such as a vertical root fracture or tooth loss. These blows to the mouth happen due to an unexpected fall, as a result of an auto accident, or they can be the result of a sports accident. 

Extreme changes in temperature can also be to blame. When the enamel of the teeth is exposed to opposite temperature extremes, it can cause hairline cracks. This is because tooth enamel contracts and expands during temperature changes. Rapid exposure to opposite temperatures can cause a new crack or worsen an existing crack.

Age can also increase the chances of cracking a tooth since tooth enamel becomes weaker as we grow older, making our teeth more vulnerable to injury.

What Are the Symptoms of A Cracked Tooth? 

In most cases, when we crack a tooth, we’ll know it. A tooth that is cracked down to the pulp where blood vessels and nerves can be found, can cause extreme tooth pain and discomfort. However, if there is only a minor crack affecting the outer enamel, you may not know your tooth is cracked right away until the crack worsens. Tooth sensitivity is another common symptom. In most cases, a cracked tooth will cause pain when you eat and/or will be sensitive to cold and heat. Pain can come and go and may only occur when you’re eating, or it can be a constant presence, depending on the severity of the crack. A cracked tooth can also become discolored along the crack.

What To Do If Your Tooth Cracks In Half 

If you cracked your tooth, there are some important steps you should take to prevent further damage and future complications.

  • First, rinse your mouth out with water.
  • If your tooth is bleeding, you can stop the bleeding by applying pressure.
  • If you’re experiencing pain and swelling, apply a cold compress.
  • You can also take over-the-counter pain medication to help control pain and inflammation.
  • Finally, contact Stuart Curry Dentistry as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.

How Are Cracked Teeth Repaired? 

There are many restoration options available at Stuart Curry Dentistry for patients with cracked or broken teeth.  

Dental treatment options can include:

At our dental office, treatment will vary depending on the severity of the damage done. Your dentist will go over the suitable options and will create a treatment plan that outlines what needs to be done to save and restore your tooth,  based on your situation.

When to Talk to a Dental Professional 

Dentists regularly treat patients suffering from a cracked tooth and offer many treatment options, depending on the severity of damage done to the fractured tooth. If treated early, your dentist may be able to save your tooth. However, if left untreated, you may be faced with ongoing pain and inflammation, or a serious infection. To prevent a cracked tooth, see your dentist regularly, especially if you’re at a higher risk for dental cracks due to weak teeth. If you play contact sports, always wear a mouthguard. If you grind your teeth, you can also have a special mouthguard made to protect your teeth and prevent chips and cracks.

Join the Stuart Curry Dentistry family for exceptional general and cosmetic dental care in Birmingham, Alabama. Proudly serving Vestavia Hills and the surrounding areas – call us today to schedule your appointment!

If you enjoyed this article, check out these other articles about general dental:
Choosing the Right Family Dental Clinic
How a Smile Makeover Can Help Your Self-Confidence