Not all cracks in your teeth are visible but they can still cause problems.
Often, when a tooth cracks, we know about it. It can weaken the tooth and a small piece breaks away, or there is a sudden and obvious discomfort when it happens. It doesn’t always happen this way though and the problem can be more difficult to detect, especially when it is either a very small crack, or it occurs beneath the gum line. Sometimes, these can even be difficult to detect with the use of x-rays.
At The Dental Centre Bedford, we always ask our patients to be honest with us when they come for their six monthly check up. We know that some people prefer not to ‘bother the dentist’ with minor issues, but these can sometime lead to deterioration of the tooth if not treated. So if you are noticing a change in your teeth, however small it is, please do mention it to us.
Symptoms of a cracked tooth
Where the crack is not obvious, there are a few symptoms which you may notice when this occurs. It is unlikely that any discomfort will be constant, such as might be the case with tooth decay. More likely, you will notice an increase in sensitivity when consuming hot or cold food and drinks. Also, when you put pressure on the teeth when eating, you may notice some discomfort. If you do, please arrange to see one of our Bedford dental team as soon as possible.
Aside from obvious accidents, teeth can crack for a number of reasons. These might include:
- A tooth weakened by a large filling
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- Misaligned teeth causing excess pressure
- Root canal treated teeth weakening over time
Treating a cracked tooth
Once the problem has been identified, leaving it as it is is not really an option, as cracks in the teeth expose the underlying dentin layer. This is more vulnerable to attacks by both acids and bacteria and decay is quite likely to follow soon afterwards. The treatment that our Bedford dentists provide will depend on a number of factors including the size and location of the crack. Potential treatments include the use of bonding materials to ‘seal’ it, a filling, a crown, or the tooth may even, in some cases, need to be extracted if it is beyond viable repair.
The longer you leave a small problem, the more likely it is to become worse. Whereas prompt action may mean that a simple bonding treatment may be needed, ignoring the problem could well lead to the need for more invasive treatment. So if you notice a change in your teeth, please tell us about it promptly so we can check. We can be contacted at The Dental Centre Bedford on 01234 819868.