How Do Teeth Become Damaged?
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, but it is not invincible. Teeth can crack. Extraordinary amounts of pressure are endured by your teeth every day as you bite down on things and chew your food. If you use your teeth as tools (a practice we strongly discourage!), your teeth will wear down or become damaged even faster.
When a tooth has been compromised in some way – such as occurs with trauma, disease, or decay – it can break, chip, or crack. Constant jaw clenching and teeth grinding can cause breakage. So can chewing on hard objects or using your teeth to pry open bottles or other tough packages. Teeth become brittle with age and certain restorative treatments, too.
Will I Know if I Crack a Tooth?
Not all damage to a tooth is easily detected by the naked eye, which is why routine dental checkups and screenings are so important. Cracks formed on the inside surface of your tooth cannot easily be seen and must be identified using x-rays.
It is not uncommon for symptoms to develop before the problem is discovered. If you have a crack, chip, or other damage, you might experience discomfort when biting down on foods or when pressure is released. Sensitivity to hot or cold beverages and foods also indicates a problem.
The discomfort may not be constant, which is why people often tend to ignore it or put off visits to the dentist in the hopes that the problem will get better on its own. Unfortunately, this is never the case. Intermittent pain may crop up, and some people have no pain at all until the nerve center of the tooth, also called the pulp, becomes involved.
Repairs to Damaged Teeth
The earlier the problem is diagnosed and fixed, the better off you will be. Early treatment will prevent further injury to the tooth and surrounding tissues.
Several factors figure into the viability of the tooth. Dr. Shah will examine the tooth and make a determination regarding the next steps. Simple remedies may include a filling or bonding the tooth back together again. A crown may be required to bring the tooth back to functionality. Some cases may require an extraction.
It’s always better to catch a problem when it’s small and easy to treat! Early detection of problems can eliminate pain and costly remedies down the road, not to mention the cost of dental problems to your general health.
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