A cracked tooth is one of the most common dental injuries, which can affect people of all ages. Even a small crack can be extremely painful and put your tooth at risk of infection, so it's important to see a dentist as soon as possible.
Your dentist will examine your mouth and discuss your treatment options for sealing the crack and restoring your tooth.
How do teeth crack?
Tooth enamel is the hardest material in the body, but teeth can still get damaged. Common causes of teeth cracks are:
- sporting injuries
- trips and falls
- blows to the face
- motor vehicle accidents
- biting into something hard
- pressure from teeth grinding or clenching
Not all cracks are visible to the naked eye. You should see a dentist after any injury to your mouth or jaw.
Why is a cracked tooth dangerous?
Cracks in teeth can expose the sensitive interior of the tooth (the pulp) to the outside world. This puts the tooth at risk of infection from bacteria and can make it painful or sensitive to eat and drink, especially hot, cold and sweet food and drinks.
Even if you don't notice any discomfort, a cracked tooth will be weaker and more prone to damage than a healthy tooth. You could also have other injuries that need attention, such as damage to your gum or tooth roots.
What to do if your tooth cracks
A cracked tooth is a dental emergency. You should call an emergency dentist near you for advice and to book an appointment as soon as possible.
You can try to ease the pain and discomfort before your dental visit by avoiding using the tooth and placing an ice pack or cold compress over the outside of your cheek.
Can a cracked tooth be fixed?
When you arrive at the dental clinic, your dentist will examine your mouth and take an x-ray to see the extent of the damage. They'll then discuss appropriate treatments to restore the tooth.
Minor cracks may be sealed with a bonding agent. For larger cracks, your dentist may recommend fitting a dental crown over the tooth for protection and to restore its strength.
For deeper cracks that reach the inside of the tooth, your dentist may recommend root canal therapy to remove the damaged or infected tissue. The tooth will then be sealed with a crown.
How to prevent a cracked tooth
You can't always avoid dental accidents, but you can lower your risk of cracking a tooth and needing emergency treatment by taking steps to protect your teeth, such as:
- following good oral hygiene to keep your teeth strong and healthy
- avoiding nuts and other very hard foods
- not biting your nails, ice or other hard objects
- not using your teeth to open packaging
- wearing a mouthguard when playing sport, especially contact sports
- talking to your dentist about ways to stop grinding your teeth
- having a crown fitted over a weakened tooth
Talk to a Gold Coast dentist today
If you need an emergency dentist on the Gold Coast or it's time for your check-up, our team at Robina Town Dental is here to help. Visit us in Robina Town Shopping Centre or call 07 5575 9100.
Queensland Government. Emergency dental [Online] 2015 [Accessed January 2020] Available from: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/services/oral-eye-ear/emergency-dental
Healthdirect. Dental injury [Online] 2017 [Accessed January 2020] Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dental-injury