Understanding and Addressing Cracked Teeth: Causes, Signs, and Solutions

Cracked teeth can be a dental concern that many of us might not even be aware of until the pain sets in. These cracks can be caused by a variety of factors and may exhibit various signs and symptoms. However, the good news is that there are effective solutions to address this issue. At Queen and Albert, we’re here to shed light on the causes of cracked teeth, recognise the signs and symptoms, and offer guidance on how to fix this common dental problem.

Causes of Cracked Teeth
Cracked teeth can result from a range of factors that place stress on your dental health. These causes include:

  • Heavy Bite Over the Years:
    The wear and tear of years of biting can take its toll on your teeth, leading to cracks.
  • Chewing Food Too Hard:
    Chomping on hard substances like ice or using your teeth as “tools” for tasks like cutting fishing line or opening bobby pins can result in cracks.
  • Weakened Teeth with Previous Decay and Restorations:
    Teeth that have undergone previous dental work or experienced decay may become more susceptible to cracking.
  • Old Amalgams with Undercuts:
    Amalgam fillings held in place by undercuts within the teeth can cause flexing as the metals expand and contract with temperature changes in the mouth, potentially leading to cracks.
  • Injuries:
    Trauma or injuries to the mouth can result in cracked teeth.

Signs and Symptoms of Cracked Teeth
Identifying cracked teeth involves recognising a range of signs and symptoms, such as:

  • Pain:
    Cracked teeth can cause varying levels of discomfort, with pain being a common symptom.
  • Sensitivity to Stimulants:
    Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks is a sign that your teeth might be cracked.
  • Random Discomfort on Biting:
    You may experience discomfort while biting down, especially when putting pressure on the affected tooth.
  • Hidden Cracks:
    In some cases, cracked teeth may not exhibit obvious symptoms, and only a dentist can detect them directly or through X-rays.

How to Fix Cracked Teeth
Addressing cracked teeth is crucial to prevent further damage and discomfort. Depending on the severity and location of the crack, there are several treatment options:

  • Simple Bonded Fillings (Restorations):
    Small cracks can often be repaired with bonded “white” fillings.
  • Stronger Onlays and Inlays:
    When the crack is more extensive, onlays and inlays made from bonded composite and ceramic can provide additional support.
  • Ceramic Crowns:
    In cases where a larger amount of support is needed for the long term, ceramic crowns are an effective solution.
  • Muscle Relaxants:
    In some instances, muscle relaxants can be injected into major clenching muscles to reduce the pressure on your teeth.
  • Night Guard (Occlusal Splint):
    If you tend to clench or grind your teeth at night, wearing an occlusal splint can help protect your teeth from further damage.

If further treatment to support the root structure is required, your dentist will guide and support you throughout the process. We believe in providing bespoke, honest, and non-judgmental discussions to ensure you make informed decisions about your dental health.

If Nothing Is Done
Leaving cracked teeth untreated can have consequences. The crack may progress, similar to a windshield crack, making the tooth more difficult and expensive to fix. In some cases, the tooth might need to be removed entirely. Addressing cracked teeth promptly is the best way to prevent such outcomes and the emotional burden of having damaged teeth.

At Queen and Albert, we are committed to helping you maintain a healthy and beautiful smile. If you suspect you have cracked teeth or are experiencing any of the mentioned symptoms, reach out to us for professional care and guidance.

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