Chipped or Cracked Teeth: Causes & Repair

How to Brush Your Teeth the Right Way
May 31, 2019
What Happens When Tooth Cavities Go Untreated?
August 12, 2019
Show all

Chipped or Cracked Teeth: Causes & Repair

The words cracked and chipped are often used interchangeably when someone breaks a tooth which causes many people to think they are the same thing, but they aren’t. Curious about the differences between a cracked tooth and a chipped tooth? Continue reading to discover what makes a cracked tooth different from a chipped tooth.

Cracked or Chipped Tooth: The Location of the Break

A strong layer, known as enamel, protects the sensitive inner part of your teeth. Even though enamel is extremely strong, it can still break. The location of the break determines whether you are experiencing a cracked tooth or a chipped tooth.

When the enamel breaks on the outside edge or end of a tooth, it is often considered a chipped tooth. If the enamel breaks around the center of the tooth or around the gum line, it is considered a crack.

Different Types of Pain

Both chipped and cracked teeth can cause pain. However, the type of pain you experience will vary depending upon if you have a chipped tooth or a cracked tooth.

A chipped tooth will often only cause pain when the enamel has broken in such a way that the nerve is exposed. The exposed nerve can cause you to experience extreme pain.

Pain often occurs with a cracked tooth almost immediately after the crack or break occurs. The pain caused by a cracked tooth is usually extreme and typically occurs when you are chewing or when the tooth is exposed to hot or cold.

What Causes a Tooth to Crack or Chip?

Cracked teeth and chipped teeth are caused by the same things, including:

·      Untreated cavities

·      Failure to practice good oral hygiene

·      Biting or chewing on something that is extremely hard

·      Hitting your teeth against each other

·      Teeth grinding

·      Sports injuries

·      Sudden impact caused by an accident

Treatment Options for Cracked or Chipped Teeth

Cracked and chipped teeth are often treated the same way. Some of the possible treatment options your dentist may recommend for a chipped tooth or a cracked tooth include:

·      Tooth bonding – placing tooth-colored resin into the crack or chip so the break is fixed.

·      Tooth splint – a dental procedure that bonds the broken or chipped tooth to a nearby tooth, so it is stabilized.

·      Root canal – after a root canal is performed a dental filling or a dental crown is used to restore your tooth.

·      Tooth extraction – used as a last resort when the tooth is so damaged that it cannot be repaired or saved.

The type of treatment that is recommended will depend upon the size of the chip or crack, location of the crack or chip, and whether the nerves of the teeth are exposed.

Have a Chipped Tooth or a Cracked Tooth? Schedule an Appointment to See Your Dentist

If you experience a chipped or cracked tooth, it is important to have it looked at by a dentist. A dentist will be able to determine how severe the damage is to the tooth and can provide you with treatment recommendations that will reduce any pain you are experiencing and help restore your smile.

Looking for a dentist who can help you with a cracked tooth or chipped tooth? Call Langley Dental Care. Dr. Langley and her dental team will be able to help you find the proper treatment for your cracked or chipped tooth. Call the office today to schedule an appointment.