When you are looking…
To fix broken or cracked teeth
Why it happens and what to do about it
Our teeth are protected by enamel – the hardest substance in our body. In fact, in terms of durability, one could safely say that tooth enamel is as tough as nails. But we know teeth do indeed chip, crack and break. Why?
The underlying causes of broken or cracked teeth
If a tooth breaks, more often than not it’s usually due to an underlying issue. One of the primary reasons a tooth breaks is when its strength is compromised by large dental filling. While fillings are an excellent treatment to fill a cavity, they can undermine the tooth’s strength. That’s why Chestermere dentist Dr Lowry likes to keep an eye on the dental fillings and other restorations of his patients.
Other conditions that can cause a tooth to crack or break are:
- Excessive forces that are placed on teeth due to clenching and grinding, or when teeth do not fit together optimally
- Enamel erosion due to the consumption of acidic foods
- The expansion and contraction of metal fillings
- Trauma or an accident
- The aging process
How is a broken or cracked tooth repaired?
When faced with a broken tooth, Dr Lowry’s first step will be to take an x-ray. Since your teeth have three layers – the outer enamel, the dentin underneath and the tooth’s inner pulp housed in its root – it is important to establish the extent of the damage.
Teeth are the only part of your body that can’t heal. If the dentin is exposed or if the tooth’s root has been impacted the crack or fracture will need to be repaired.
- In many cases, small chips and cracks can be restored with dental bonding
- If the strength of the tooth has been compromised, Dr Lowry may prescribe a dental crown
Don’t delay treatment
It is important to address a broken or cracked tooth sooner rather than later since infection can invade and, in the worst case scenario, a root canal or tooth extraction may be required.