Can A Cracked Tooth Heal On Its Own?
A cracked tooth is a common dental problem. A tooth may crack due to a variety of causes from teeth grinding to injuries. There are different types of cracks that develop in teeth, and the type of crack is a big factor in the outcome.
If you have a cracked tooth you may be unsure of what to do about it. Can a cracked tooth heal on its own? Or will it require treatment of some kind? Here’s what you need to know about how to handle your cracked tooth.
A Cracked Tooth Requires Treatment
Unfortunately, a cracked tooth will not heal on its own. Tooth enamel is incapable of repairing itself the way other bones in your body may do. It won’t regenerate and the crack will not close up without dental treatment.
Instead, the crack leaves your tooth susceptible to infection. A crack in the enamel exposes the dental pulp, the soft tissue on the inside of your tooth containing blood vessels and nerves. If bacteria from your mouth invades the dental pulp, a painful tooth infection can form. An untreated tooth infection could mean the tooth can’t be saved and will need to be extracted.
How is a Cracked Tooth Treated?
The way a cracked tooth is treated depends on the type of crack:
- Craze lines. Tiny hairline cracks occur in the crown of a tooth that are superficial and don’t extend beyond the enamel. These pose no risk and do not need to be treated.
- Cracked tooth. A traditional crack in a tooth starts in the crown and travels toward the gum line. If the crack has not yet extended below the gums, the tooth can typically be restored with a crown leaving the root of the tooth in place. It is crucial to address this type of crack quickly to prevent it from worsening and extending into the gums.
- Vertical root fracture. In rare cases the crack will start in the root of the tooth and extend toward the crown. These types of cracks are typically untreatable, meaning the tooth will need to be extracted and replaced.
- Split tooth. When a crack in a tooth extends far enough from the crown down into the root, the tooth is essentially split in half. Once it goes this far the tooth is most likely unable to be saved and will need to be extracted and replaced.
Time is Crucial With a Cracked Tooth
A crack in a tooth should be treated as soon as it is discovered for the best chance of saving the tooth. The crack will not heal on its own; it will only worsen, spreading further across the tooth and down into the root. A cracked tooth is at risk of infection as bacteria can enter the root canal of the tooth and infect the pulp. When a crack is discovered early, the tooth can be restored with a crown. A crown is a tooth shaped cap that is placed over the existing tooth, allowing the root to remain in place to support the tooth.
Restoring a cracked tooth with a crown is preferable for a variety of reasons. It allows your natural tooth root to stay in place and prevents the need for an expensive replacement, such as a bridge or a dental implant. Leaving a gap due to a missing tooth allows your other teeth to shift out of position and the support structures for the absent tooth to deteriorate. Saving the natural tooth is best for your dental health, and replacing it is the next best option.
Elite Endodontics of Treats Cracked Teeth
If you have a cracked tooth, don’t wait. Contact Hudson Endodontics right away to have the tooth treated. We provide prompt treatment that can save your tooth in many cases.