Cracks develop in a number of ways. While the most obvious manner that you can get dental cracks is when excessive force hits your mouth, such as what we see in most sports-related injuries as well as falls, but cracks can also develop over time and in the most subtle of ways. For instance, constant clenching of teeth as well as grinding can lead to the formation of microscopic cracks on the enamel of your teeth. The latter develops slowly and so the manifestation of the signs and symptoms of the cracked tooth also precipitates gradually.
Are you at risk for dental cracks?
Anyone can be at risk for the development of dental cracks. However, when it comes to the different teeth in your mouth, the back molars have the highest risk of developing cracks because it is these dental structures which receive majority of the forces when you clench and bite your teeth. On top of that, teeth which have already been treated for cavities are also prone to cracking because of the already weakened structure of the tooth. The composite resin material or the dental filling may be capable of reconstructing the structure of the tooth but the integrity is not the same as it was in the past anymore. For this reason, these treated teeth can no longer withstand biting forces the same way that a completely healthy, untreated tooth can.
How can cracked teeth be treated?
Treatment of cracked teeth will depend on the extent of the damage. For instance, if the crack affects the biting surface of the tooth, then the appropriate treatment would be to place a porcelain crown over the tooth in order to protect the entire structure of the tooth especially when you bite into something or clench your teeth. On the other hand, when the pulp is already involved in the dental damage, then root canal treatment may be the only way to resolve the pain.
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