By Dr Sarmad Syed
A cracked tooth has a crack that may incompletely separate the crown of the tooth into two parts. It can be caused by factors like excessive masticatory forces, coarse foods, bruxism, chewing ice, etc.
How to tell if you have a cracked tooth?
Cracks may develop in a normal tooth but are more likely to form in heavily restored ones. Initially, you may have sharp pain when chewing on that tooth. In later stages, where the crack has propagated further into the tooth, you might feel sensitivity to cold along with the initial sign of pain on chewing. If the gap is present for a more extended period, bacteria might enter the pulp and cause the tooth to lose its vitality and become dead. So, the tooth you had pain in on chewing and taking cold edibles will then become painless.
Consequences of ignoring a cracked tooth
The ultimate consequence is losing your tooth and paying a lot of money to get an artificial replacement for it.
Here’s what you’ll go through depending upon how early you get to your dentist.
- If the crack is within the enamel, you’ll have to get it removed and then restore the tooth with a filling.
- If it’s gone deeper, you might need a root canal treatment, followed by crown placement. This treatment, when done from a reputable clinic with desirable treatment outcomes, can prove relatively expensive, which is why you’d want to get your tooth treated before it comes to this.
- If the crack reaches the root, then usually the most predictable treatment is extraction, followed by prosthetic replacements. These could be either removable partial dentures, dental bridges, or dental implants. Dental implants are considered to be the gold standard nowadays and give the most exact replacement of a lost tooth. However, this is the most expensive treatment option, as well.
What to do?
If you`ve recently taken any harder-than-usual foods, and feel pain on chewing that wasn’t previously there, you might want to drop by your local dentist and get it looked at.
Remember, dentistry isn’t expensive, negligence is!
-The author is a contributing writer for Dental News Pakistan and can be reached at email@example.com