After so many dental appointments, you finally got your root canal done and a crown placed over it. But guess what? After a year or two, you are complaining about a cracked tooth under your crown. What could be worse than this? Do you have to go through all those procedures and lengthy consultations again that almost cost you your job?
Well, we can save you a bit from all that. Knowing what to do if tooth cracked under crown could be beneficial because you know when to see a doctor before further damage begins.
In this guide, we unveiled all the symptoms, treatments, and causes of cracked teeth under the crown, so pay attention to your eating habits and be more careful with your oral regimen.
A cracked or fractured tooth can result from an injury or biting a hard food item. It’s most common symptom is tooth sensitivity and pain while chewing and biting. To prevent this, avoid having hard foods, wear a mouth guard while playing, and practice good oral care.
What is a Cracked or Fractured Tooth?
A cracked or fractured tooth in your mouth is an unignorably dental emergency. And if you have a cracked tooth under your crown, that is a bigger problem. Depending on the crack (small or big), the dentist will suggest an appropriate course of action to preserve your teeth.
While anybody can have a fractured tooth, it is more common in adults and children. Oftentimes, in the worse situation, it can completely break your tooth. Therefore, it is advisable to get it checked if you are experiencing symptoms of a fractured tooth.
5 Types of Cracked Teeth
Following are the different types of cracked teeth, check them out:
- Craze lines: Minor cracks on the outer layer of the tooth (enamel) called craze lines. They typically are painless and cause no harm if not treated.
- Fractured cusp: When the crack occurs around the filling, it is called a fractured cusp. Since it does not affect the interior part of the tooth where nerves and connective tissues reside, it doesn’t cause much pain.
- Split tooth: When the crack starts from the tooth’s surface and extends to the top below the gum line, it is called a split tooth. It is an extensive crack that can break the tooth into two fragments. In such a case, it is unlikely to save the entire tooth.
- Crack yet to reach the gum line: It is similar to a split tooth but savable. In this condition, the crack starts from the tooth’s surface and stops below the gum line. That said, if the crack increases and extends to the gum line, you may require a tooth extraction.
- Vertical root fracture: This kind of tooth fracture starts below the gum line and goes in an upward direction. It typically indicates no symptoms, unless the tooth gets infected.
6 Causes of Fractured Tooth
Tooth fractures have become a more serious problem since 2018. According to the statistics, 31.4 percent of all examined molars have one cracked tooth, and 66.1 percent of all patients had a minimum of one cracked tooth, molar to be precise.
Here are the common causes for it:
- Age: Of course, as we age our bones and teeth become more fragile and prone to breakage. Thereby, people at 50 or over 50 experience more tooth fractures than any other age group.
- Biting hard foods: Exerting too much pressure on your teeth while biting hard stuff like candies, crackers, and popcorn kernels can possibly cause a tooth fracture. Even a healthy tooth cannot prevent if you keep chewing on such foods.
- Bad eating habits: Sometimes, just bad eating habits like gum or ice chewing can lead to tooth decay or tooth fracture over time.
- Root canal or large fillings: While a root canal is a dental procedure to protect a tooth from damage, it weakens it and makes it fall earlier than its time. Also, since both these treatments weaken a tooth, it becomes prone to fracture.
- Bruxism: Teeth grinding is called bruxism in medical terms. It causes a lot of pressure on your teeth. Hence, they break or fracture.
- Injury or trauma: Any injury due to falls, bike accidents, or physical violence can also cause a fractured tooth.
So these were the common causes of tooth fractures. While there could be other causes as well, these ones are the more encountered cases at the dentists’.
4 Symptoms of Cracked Tooth
A cracked tooth does not cause any symptoms initially; however, with time, you begin to feel pain and discomfort that make you want it to be stopped already. Yeah, dental pain is the worst thing that can happen to anyone.
So here are the symptoms you need to look for if you want to know whether you have a cracked tooth or not.
- On and off the pain while biting or chewing.
- Sensitivity to sweet, spicy, hot, and cold food
- Swelling around the gums
- Toothache while eating
As we said earlier, you may not initially feel these symptoms. They will appear with time and won’t be consistent.
3 Major Complications due to Tooth Fracture
If you or your child are ever caught in such a situation, it is highly recommended to visit your dentist the soonest as it may prevent your tooth from extraction. However, if you don’t get it checked in time, you may run into the following complications:
Increases Tooth Sensitivity
If you have a fractured tooth under your crown you may become sensitive to heat and cold and may feel sharp pain while biting or chewing.
An untreated cracked or fractured tooth will ultimately lead to tooth decay. Apart from causing cavities which itself is unbearable, you will suffer from other health complications like a dental abscess or gum disease.
Infection in the Dental Pulp
A cracked tooth under a crown is susceptible to severe bacterial infection that may extend to the dental pulp. In that case, a root canal is a must to protect the tooth.
How to Treat a Fractured Tooth at Home?
A fractured tooth cannot be treated at home, and you should not even attempt to do so, as it is highly discouraged. That said, you can take help from some home remedies to minimize the pain. For instance, you can:
- Place an ice pack on the affected area from the outside to prevent swelling
- Take anti-inflammatory drugs for pain management.
- Rinse your mouth with saline water.
How do Specialists treat a Fractured Tooth?
An endodontist typically treats a fractured tooth, and the treatment depends on the damage to your teeth. Following are some treatments suggested for a fractured or cracked tooth:
4 Treatments for Cracked or Fractured Tooth
Bonding is a plastic resin material that is typically used by dentists to fill in the crack. It is the most affordable treatment for a cracked tooth. To read more about dental bonding, read this blog.
Cosmetic contouring, also called odontoplasty is a tooth reshaping procedure to improve its appearance and shape. This technique is used to treat minor cracks and fractures by simply rounding rough edges and polishing to even its shape.
In the case when the damage is extended to the dental pulp, a root canal is performed to protect the tooth.
Dentists may perform a tooth extraction when the damage is beyond repairable. However, it is the last resort and is typically performed when other methods don’t work.
If you have recently suffered a dental injury while playing or chewing a hard food item, or you start to feel symptoms like we stated, contact your trusted dentist and schedule an appointment. They will thoroughly examine your tooth and offer you the appropriate treatments.
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