Your Teeth Are Cracked!

It’s true; every adult has cracks in their teeth.  It’s the type of crack that’s important.  Many cracks are in the enamel only.  The enamel is the hard substance covering and protecting all teeth.  Cracks in the enamel are shallow, rarely get bigger, and are of little or no consequence.  These can be caused by temperature extremes (like chewing ice) or by biting forces (like grinding your teeth or biting on something hard).

The types of cracks we are concerned about extend beyond the enamel into the dentin of the tooth.  Dentin is the softer inner part of the tooth under the enamel.  It is made up of thousands of mini fluid filled tubes that keep our teeth healthy and vital.  A crack in the dentin is detrimental to your tooth.  These cracks compromise the structural integrity of your tooth and can cause sensitivity, fracture of the tooth and even tooth loss.  It is important to identify and treat cracks before they spread to the point of the tooth needing a root canal or even an extraction.

Unfortunately, many of these cracks are hard to see.  Our hygienists use magnifying loupes and LED lights to better identify problems in your mouth.  Our intra-oral camera also gives us a magnified picture and is a great tool to use when discussing potentially risky cracks with our patients.  We are committed to being pro-active with dentin cracks in hopes of avoiding broken teeth, sensitivity, pain and even tooth loss.

There are things you can do to help diagnose cracks that need attention.  Do you have sensitivity to hot, cold or chewing.  This could be decay or a crack in the dentin.  If you bite on something hard do you get a flash of pain?  This is almost always due to a cracked tooth.  If you see a dark jagged line across your tooth, let us check it out.  Don’t wait until it hurts all the time, this usually dictates more extensive and more expensive services are needed.

Everyone has cracks in their teeth.  We will do everything we can to identify medium and high risk cracks. We will then recommend treatment that will help prevent future problems and maintain your teeth for long-term oral health, function and comfort.

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Bruce