Pain, mobility, sensitivity or no symptoms at all–each can apply to a cracked tooth. Consumers Report Top Dentist, Dr. Robert Young, finds cracked teeth, expertly treats them, and shows patients how to avoid fractures that compromise oral health and function.
Cracked Tooth Syndrome (CTS) is the 3rd leading cause of tooth loss
Even a hairline crack may send a tooth down a destructive path. The bacteria that naturally occupy your mouth love dark, moist, plaque-filled areas. A cracked tooth provides all 3, leading to:
- Abscess, or infection, deep in the tooth structure
- Tooth movement
- Sensitivity to hot and cold and to sugary foods
Cracked Tooth Syndrome results from oral injury, such as a blow to the jaw, multiple or very large fillings in a tooth, bruxism (teeth grinding) and thin enamel from simple age, wear and tear and acid erosion from dietary choices. Your Manahawkin dentist says it’s important keep teeth and gums healthy to avoid CTS, or if symptoms appear, to act on them immediately to avoid substantial damage.
Finding a crack
During an oral exam, Dr. Young inspects each tooth and the gums. He looks at restorations, such as fillings and dental crowns, to see if they are intact with no additional decay.
When he suspects a crack or the patient complains of sensitivity or pain with a particular tooth, Dr. Young uses a handheld instrument called an explorer to find decay. He assesses how teeth bite together and looks for signs of clenching (uneven tooth cusps and other characteristics).
In addition, the dentist takes digital x-rays. While x-rays are not conclusive for CTS, they are part of a total diagnostic picture.
Treating a crack
Depending on location and severity of the fracture, Dr. Young may recommend:
- A tooth colored (composite resin) filling to repair decay
- A porcelain crown to shore up compromised enamel
- Root canal therapy to remove diseased pulp in the case of an abscess
- Composite resin bonding to smooth and fill fine cracks and strengthen the tooth
- A customized mouthguard to protect during sports or cushion teeth from grinding and clenching
- Dental implants or fixed bridgework after extraction
- Porcelain veneers to cover the frontside of fractured, chipped teeth and add durability
Preventing a crack
Dr. Robert Young and his team recommend routine brushing and flossing at home to remove harmful plaque. Six-month exams and cleanings inspect for problems before they become painful and expensive and to remove hard tartar.
Also, good nutrition strengthens and maintains smiles throughout your life. Avoid sugary foods, smoking and high acid menu items. Eat high protein, low-fat meats, fibrous vegetables and fruits and low-fat, high-calcium dairy products.
Could you unknowingly have CTS?
Don’t worry. Contact Young Dentistry in Manahawkin, NJ, and book an exam and cleaning appointment. Dr. Young’s extensive credentials and experience reliably assess your oral health to keep it on track for a lifetime.