Cracked, chipped, or broken tooth are often common dental injuries that a person’s teeth can suffer. Decayed tooth as well, is one of the most common teeth problems.
A person’s tooth (teeth) is said to be cracked if it has a fracture, split, crack, or craze running somewhere through it. A tooth crack can happen either inside the tooth or in the outer tooth layer. In addition, the crack can move in any direction as well as permeating the whole tooth or pervading a portion of the tooth.
Chipped tooth is slight tooth fracture wherein the enamel is being chipped. This dental injury does not involved displacing of the tooth or bleeding of the gums. A chipped tooth has sharp or rough tips, causing irritation to the mouth’s cheek and tongue.
Tooth Decay or dental caries (also cavity) is a dental disease in which the bacterial progressions harm a person’s hard tooth structure which is enamel, dentin, and cementum. Once these three breaks down, dental caries are produced.
Overview: Causes of Cracked, Chipped, and Decayed Tooth
Cracked tooth (teeth) is sometimes triggered by eating sticky foods like candy or popcorn. On the other hand, the foods may not be totally responsible for having a fractured tooth. Sticky and hard foods can worsen the crack, but then the teeth’s deteriorated condition may cause the fracture.
Other reasons for a cracked tooth include tooth decay, trauma or injury as well as damaged tooth structure, gritting, Bruxism and stress fracture. In certain instances, a tooth can have a crack because it cannot endure the strong muscles on the jaw, which eventually cause the fracture when the person bites down on food.
Similar to cracked tooth, chipped tooth is instigated by eating hard foods (e.g. candy, ice), tooth grinding or Bruxism, tooth decay, and cavities. Using teeth as a tool can also result to chipping of tooth. There are also certain diseases and bite problems which worsen the chipping of the tooth.
Tooth decay is a dental disease caused by bacteria and food particles. Plaque, which is a clear and sticky substance found in the mouth contains bacteria. These bacteria fed on the food residues converting them into acids. Eventually, the acid form attacks the teeth usually after eating. In the long run, this acid extinguishes tooth enamel that results to tooth decay.
In addition to bacteria and food particles, poor oral hygiene, bad diet, fluoride insufficiency, and genetics can cause tooth decay.
Symptoms of Cracked, Chipped, and Decayed Tooth
A person has a cracked tooth (teeth) when:
- Excessive pain when biting on something hard.
- Sensitivity to cold and heat and becomes increasingly sensitive to chewing due to the pressure.
- Suffering from toothache to sweet foods as well as to sour and sticky.
- Unusual cracked tooth symptom is you cannot identify directly which tooth is painful until dental test/exam is conducted.
The most common symptom for a chipped tooth is having pointed or jagged edges which irritate the mouth’s cheek and tongue. A chipped tooth is not sensitive to food or temperature. In addition, it does not feel painful. The pulp may be injured, but it is not that serious to do an urgent treatment.
Generally, there are no evident symptoms of tooth decay until a person has a cavity or an infected. When this occurs, two of the most evident symptoms of tooth decay include Halitosis and toothache.
Halitosis or bad breath is an irksome odour, which many of us suffer. The smell or odour is produced by the bacteria from the decomposing food particles in the mouth that causes caries. Aside from tooth decay causing bad breath, people also suffer from bad breath because of poor dental hygiene. The decayed food particles and bacteria generate a sulphur compound, which causes bad breath.
Tooth decay results to severe toothache. When tooth decay progresses and left untreated, an infection in the pulp of the tooth will take place. When this infection develops and pus is made, you will suffer from an excruciating and tender pain.
Diagnosis for Cracked, Chipped, and Decayed Tooth
Diagnosis for cracked tooth:
The dentist will study the patient’s mouth and teeth. The exam will concentrate on the tooth that is in question. Then, the dentist will use an edged instrument known as explorer. This instrument will be used to sense the cracks in the tooth as the dentist will also examine the gums surrounding the teeth. The dentist will require you to take X-rays, though they do not usually show crack.
Aside from the instrument called explorer, the dentist may use other specialized tools to assess the tooth. A toothbrush-like tool (but without bristles) is used in determining which part of the tooth has a crack. The dentist will have you to take a bite on the tool over one part of the tooth. If there is pain, then that part has most likely to have a crack.
Diagnosis for Chipped Tooth:
For a chipped tooth, the dentist will investigate on how the injury occurred. The dentist may require the patient to take dental x-rays. In addition, the dentist will ask if the patient is suffering any pain as the result of the injury. The dentist will then repair the chipped tooth depending on the pain suffered and results of dental x-rays.
Diagnosis for Decayed tooth:
During dental check-ups, tooth decay is often identified. Through dental check-ups, the dentist examines and assesses the patient’s teeth. When there is tooth decay, the dentist would easily find it out.
In certain cases, tooth decay is difficult to detect. This happens when the tooth decay occurs in the middle or at the back of the teeth. An X-ray of the patient’s mouth is then needed. On the X-ray film, decay shows as a dark spot.
Treatment for Cracked, Chipped, and Decayed Tooth
Treating cracked tooth:
Your dentist will play an important role during the treatment of your cracked tooth as the treatment would solely depend on how intrusive the dentist is in repairing the tooth as well as your suffering that the teeth or tooth are affecting you.
If an end of the tooth is conceded by the crack, the procedure would only involve getting rid of the deteriorated part and covering it with a big filling. In the case that over one cusp is affected by the crack, the option for the dentist is to restore it using crowns.
Once the dentist follows with the crown as the most appropriate for your cracked tooth, the dentist will then discuss if the cracked tooth will need a root canal treatment. The cracked tooth to be restored using crown can be assessed if the aching can be stopped. If the toothache cannot be prevented, root canal treatment should be done prior crown restoration.
Treating chipped tooth:
As stated, the kind of treatment plan applied for a chipped tooth will depend on the extent of pain suffered as well as dental x-rays results.
A small chip can be levelled without the use of restorative treatment. Levelling of a chipped tooth is applied to small chips in the enamel, while chips in the dentine would require treatment since dentine is penetrable; which leads to tooth decay or nerve infection once bacteria discovers their way through it.
To avoid additional damage, the dentist covers the tooth and schedules the next appointment for the completion of the treatment. Using a bonding agent, the chipped piece of tooth can be used to substitute for the missing chip.
Other treatments for a chipped tooth include filling, which serves as a replace of the missing portion by attaching it to the tooth. It is usually made from plastic with quartz or glass particles. Dental veneers and crowns are also other treatments for repairing chipped tooth (teeth).
If on the treatment tooth nerve has been damage, root treatment may be needed. In addition, dental follow up is needed for those patients who have wounds both the first and second teeth.
Treating decayed tooth:
Treatment for tooth decay differs depending on how serious the tooth decay. Tooth decay can be prevented with regular brushing and flossing with the use of fluoride toothpaste.
Filling is also a treatment applied for tooth decay. Once a cavity form, the filling is placed on the whole, which eventually re-establishes the tooth’s original shape subsequently removal of the decay. Other treatments for tooth decay include crown, root canal treatment, and extraction of the tooth.