A fractured tooth occurs when a crack on your tooth appears. Also known as a cracked tooth or cracked tooth syndrome (CTS), this issue can be small and harmless at times. However, there are instances when the damage is enough to split or even break your tooth entirely.
CTS is common among children and the elderly, but anyone can still fracture their tooth due to many reasons. If you think you might have a fractured tooth, it is best to set an appointment with a dentist immediately.
Causes of a Fractured Tooth
There are many reasons why people fracture their teeth. Among the most common ones include:
- Age (Fractures are more common among those aged 50 and above.)
- Biting hard food (This includes candy, popcorn kernels, and ice.)
- Habits (This includes ice chewing and gum chewing.)
- Large dental fillings or root canal treatment (These procedures can weaken the tooth.)
- Teeth grinding (Also known as bruxism, which often occurs while asleep.)
- Trauma (This occurs because of sports injuries, falls, car accidents, bike accidents, and physical violence.)
Symptoms of Cracked Tooth Syndrome
Not all cases of CTS exhibit obvious symptoms. However, when symptoms do show up, they become apparent in the following ways:
- Pain that comes and goes, especially when you are chewing
- Sensitivity to changes in temperature or eating sweets
- Noticeable swelling around the affected tooth
- An aching sensation when biting or chewing
Types of Tooth Fracture
There are various types of tooth fractures, and the main categories include the following:
- Craze Lines (Hairline Cracks) - These are small and thin cracks that can be seen on the outer enamel of your tooth. This type of fracture does not cause any pain.
- Cracked Tooth - There is usually a vertical crack that runs along the biting surface of the affected tooth up to the gum line. In some cases, the crack extends up to the gum line and root.
- Split Tooth - The crack for this type of fracture extends from the tooth’s surface to below the gum line. Essentially, this crack splits a tooth into two.
- Fractured Cusp - The crack appears around a dental filling. They aren’t usually painful.
- Vertical Root Fracture - The crack begins below the gum line and travels toward the tooth’s biting surface. This type of fracture doesn’t usually exhibit any symptoms unless the tooth becomes infected.
At-Home Treatment of a Fractured Tooth
If you do have a fractured tooth, it is best to see a dentist so that they can address the issue or recommend you to an endodontist. While you are waiting or staying at home, you can try the following remedies to reduce the pain and swelling:
- Apply an ice pack on the outside of your mouth
- Rinse with salt water to keep your teeth clean
- Take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug to reduce the swelling and pain
Professional Treatment of a Fractured Tooth
Your treatment depends on how much damage your tooth incurred. Some of the most common procedures for CTS include:
- Bonding - A plastic resin will be used to fill in the crack.
- Crown - A ceramic or porcelain cap will be fitted over the fractured tooth. This is usually used when you don’t have enough of your original tooth left for a veneer.
- Veneer - A thin shell made of plastic or porcelain is placed on the front of the affected tooth.
- Extraction - This procedure removes the affected tooth entirely. It is the best option when the root and nerves of your tooth have incurred severe damage.
- Cosmetic Contouring - This treatment smoothens and polishes the rough edges of the fractured tooth.
- Root Canal - This procedure removes the infected pulp to avoid any further damage. It is usually done when the fracture has extended up to the pulp.
A fractured tooth can affect your beautiful smile along with your eating habits, so it is best to get it treated as soon as possible. Whether your CTS is a minor or major issue for you, your local dentist in Waterford can provide you with the most suitable solution.
At Dental House MI, we offer a wide range of dental services, including preventive dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and restorative dentistry. If you are interested in affordable dentistry in Ann Arbor, MI, contact our staff today to set an appointment.