While a chipped or cracked tooth may not always cause significant pain or discomfort, it does require evaluation by your dentist.
Depending on the cause and severity of the chip or crack, he or she can repair the damage and restore the appearance, health, and function of the tooth.
In the event that you encounter this type of dental issue, here’s what you should know about the causes and treatments for a chipped or cracked tooth.
What Are Symptoms of a Chipped or a Cracked Tooth?
Often times, patients only notice a chipped or cracked tooth when they experience difficulty chewing, sensitivity to hot or cold food and drinks, and discomfort with temperatures changes in the mouth.
What Are the Causes of a Chipped or Cracked Tooth?
There are five main causes of a chipped or cracked tooth:
- Cavity – When a tooth is decayed it becomes weaker and is more susceptible to chipping or cracking.
- Bad Bite – This occurs when an individual bites down on a hard surface like an ice cube, candy, or bone, and it causes the tooth to chip or crack.
- Hard Hit – A hard hit is a trauma or injury to the face or mouth that causes cracking or chipping.
- Poor hygiene – Proper oral hygiene, including daily brushing, flossing, and mouthwash and regular dental appointments, are an important way that patients can limit their chances of cracking or chipping a tooth.
- Bruxism – The pressure exerted from teeth grinding and jaw clenching is another possible cause of a chipped or cracked tooth.
How to Repair a Chipped Tooth?
The degree of damage to a chipped tooth usually determines the appropriate method of repair.
That being said, smoothing and polishing is often used to address a small chip in the tooth, while a filling, crown, or cap is recommended for a chipped tooth with minor damage to the enamel.
Finally, in cases of a large chip that exposes a nerve, a root canal followed by a crown or cap may be necessary.
How to Repair a Cracked Tooth?
In certain instances, a cracked tooth can be repaired and reshaped with tooth bonding, which applies a tooth-colored resin to the damaged area.
Additionally, a splint is able to bond the cracked tooth to a healthy one beside it. This technique provides stability and allows the bone and gums to heal from the crack.
Lastly, a crack that results in damage to the tooth’s pulp may warrant a root canal plus a tooth crown, filling, or bonding. This combination is both restorative and preventative against additional issues.
To learn more about the causes and repair of chipped and cracked teeth, please call our office today to schedule a consultation.