The human body is amazing, with your skin, bones, and other parts able to naturally heal themselves with time. As such, many patients wonder if cracked teeth can heal themselves over time. The short answer is that it depends on the severity of the damage.
Unlike your body, there are no blood vessels inside the outermost layers of your tooth. Because there is no nutrient flow in your enamel, your teeth cannot do much to repair themselves when they suffer significant damage. For small cracks and chips, this isn’t a problem, but it does mean that teeth with severe cracks will need to be repaired or replaced by a dentist.
Read on to learn more about how dentists treat cracked teeth, and when you may need to book an appointment to have your teeth repaired.
What Are Cracked Teeth?
A cracked tooth is a general term for any tooth that has a damaged surface. There are many factors that can cause cracks to occur. This includes the following:
- Physical injury or trauma
- Teeth grinding (“bruxism”)
- Advanced age
- Eating hard candy or ice
- Eating food at extremely hot or cold temperatures
- Using your teeth as a tool
What Can Dentists Do To Repair Cracked Teeth?
Depending on the level of damage, a dentist may or may not need to treat your cracked tooth. Very small cracks can often be monitored, thanks in part to a process called remineralization. Your saliva bonds to the weakened outer layer of your tooth, the enamel, and fills in the cracks over time. This is possible due to the calcium and other minerals in your saliva, and is further supported through the use of fluoride toothpaste.
Depending on how significant the cracks are in your teeth, your dentist may recommend one of the following treatments:
If there is a small chip or crack in your tooth, your dentist may use a filling to repair it. A resin is used to fill in the damaged area, restoring the appearance and functionality of your tooth.
When the enamel of a tooth is weakened by a moderate crack, it is repaired with a dental crown. A dental crown covers the top and sides of the tooth to restore shape and size, helping preserve the life of the tooth while minimizing future repair work needed.
If a crack has damaged the tooth into the nerve , a root canal may still be able to save the natural tooth. Because there are no blood vessels in the outermost layers of the tooth, dentists can drill into teeth and replace damaged nerves with a root canal filling. This procedure is known as a root canal, and it is performed to treat your tooth with minimal impact to the other nerves and blood vessels found on the outer side layer of the tooth.
When a tooth is cracked beyond repair, then one solution is to extract the tooth and replace it entirely. Cracked teeth that are ignored often serve as growing areas for harmful bacteria that can lead to gum disease, and can even cause your undamaged teeth to decay.
In the event that a crack or infection only affects one root, and the tooth is supported by multiple healthy roots, there is an alternative treatment option. A root amputation is a procedure generally reserved for large multi rooted teeth, like your molars.
When Should I See a Dentist About A Cracked Tooth?
Cracked teeth can lead to a wide range of health problems, so be sure to get them examined if you experience one of the following symptoms:
- Pain while chewing food or biting
- Pain or extreme sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Gum swelling or bleeding
- A dull, throbbing pain in your jaw
- Periodic pain that comes or goes
Get Your Cracked Teeth Repaired At Forest Lake Endodontics
Almost everyone is going to have a cracked tooth at some point in their lives. There are a wide range of causes, and if they go ignored cracked teeth can lead to pain and other oral health problems. Fortunately, there are a wide range of treatment options to repair your mouth and restore your smile.
Are you looking for an endodontist to take a look at your cracked teeth? If you’re in the Forest Lake, Minnesota area, then check out Forest Lake Endodontics! No matter how severe your cracked teeth are, we promise to do our best and help you regain your perfect smile. With over 20 years of experience, you can rely on our stellar team no matter the reason for your visit.
If you would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today. We look forward to helping you resolve your dental needs here at Forest Lake Endodontics.