Are you fond of crunching on ice cubes? How about hard candies? As satisfying as it is to be crunching away, this behavior can take a toll on your teeth! Our teeth are known to be remarkably strong, and can withstand massive amounts of force. However, some factors like biting something hard, trauma to the face, or having untreated cracks or cavities can contribute in getting your teeth chipped or cracked. Minor chips or break in the tooth may not cause pain, however this structural fault can lead to larger problems in the future if not treated. Larger fractures can be more painful from the beginning; if a large part of your tooth breaks and nerve endings get exposed, something as simple as drinking cold water can cause severe pain. It is important to identify the severity of the tooth breakage by knowing the extent of the damage and it can be classified as follows:
- Minor cracks – also known as “craze lines”, don’t pose serious threat on the health of your teeth. These craze lines exist as hairline cracks on the tooth’s surface. It is totally normal to have these craze lines, because your teeth suffer from a lot daily abuse. The majority of the time, no treatment is needed. However, if the cracks are quite extensive then porcelain veneers can also be considered.
- Cracked tooth – this is more serious type of tooth fracture which involves a crack running from the enamel towards the nerve. Often, a crown is recommended to essentially hug the tooth and prevent the crack from getting worse. If the crack has damaged the nerve of the tooth, a root canal may also be recommended. A cracked tooth is not just something to be put off, and should be treated as soon as it is found to prevent it from getting worse.
- Split tooth– if a tooth is cracked and is left untreated, it can result in a vertical fracture of the tooth. In many cases, this is not restorable, and the tooth should be removed to reduce the risk of infection.
So it broke…what can go wrong?
Sometimes, life has a way of making us forget to take care of ourselves. It is important to come see your favorite dentists as soon as you notice a crack. Be aware, some cracks won’t cause you any pain at all, and are only identified at your dental exam! It is vital to treat them as soon as they are identified to keep your mouth healthy and happy. Be sure to make an appointment with your local dental office - your friendly team at Energetic Smile will be happy to see you!
Q: What causes dry mouth?
A: There are several causes of dry mouth. Dry mouth can be caused by many medications, especially medications for high blood pressure or for diabetes. Dry mouth is also linked with aging. If your dry mouth is medication-induced, do not stop taking your medication without consulting with your physician.
Q: Why is my dry mouth worse at night?
A: Nighttime dry mouth is very common, especially among people who breathe out of their mouths when they sleep. In addition, those who use devices for sleep apnea, like a CPAP machine, often experience more severe dry mouth.