Having a cracked tooth can seem daunting. If you’ve found yourself with a cracked tooth, you may be wondering, ‘do cracked teeth heal?’. Find out if a crack in a tooth can heal on its own or if it requires dental treatment intervention.
Do Cracked Teeth Heal on Their Own?
Our bones, some of our organs, and our flesh can regenerate after injury. So, can our teeth do the same? While the gums that house and protect our teeth can heal from some injury on their own, teeth cannot. Their composition simply doesn’t allow them to regenerate or heal after they’ve sustained cracking. However, fortunately, there are dental treatments available that can help people who have noticed cracks in their teeth get the look, feel, and use of their affected teeth back.
Understanding Why Teeth Can’t Heal After Cracking Occurs
Teeth may seem synonymous with bones because bones require calcium for strength. However, the enamel that surrounds our teeth is made up of calcium phosphate, which may be the cause for the confusion. Teeth actually aren’t bones at all. Rather, they’re made up of calcium phosphate (enamel), pulp, dentin, and cementum. Enamel is the outermost layer of our teeth which protects other aspects of the tooth that allow blood flow to the tissues (pulp) and the providing of calcium to the teeth. So, while there is tissue and blood flow within the tooth, enamel doesn’t have these features. Therefore, when the outer surface of our teeth cracks, which is the enamel, it has the inability to grow back and repair itself.
The Causes of Cracks in the Teeth
There are a number of reasons why a person may notice cracks in their teeth. Typically, cracked teeth are the result of trauma, or injury, of the teeth. Some of the reasons why cracking in teeth may occur include:
- grinding of the teeth during sleep
- an uneven bite
- use of teeth as tools to open packaging or perform other tasks
- severe and instantaneous temperature changes (for example, going from drinking coffee to eating ice cream in one sitting)
- trauma to the teeth (hitting a tooth on glass while drinking, etc.)
Sometimes, people may not even know they have cracks in their teeth. Rather, they find out during a routine dental examination for issues including pain, gum swelling, or tenderness. These can all be symptoms of cracks in teeth.
Treatments For Cracked Teeth
Fortunately, if you have a cracked tooth, all is not lost. When detected early, teeth that are cracked can be preserved with available dental treatments that include:
Fillings and Bonding: If cracks aren’t severe, patients can receive dental fillings or cosmetic bonding that can fill in the surface of the crack on the tooth. This helps to preserve the tooth from bacteria reaching the tooth’s pulp and leading to infection. Plus, filling and bonding materials are matched to a tooth’s original color to give them a natural appearance.
Crowns: If cracking is too severe for fillings or bonding, a crown may be necessary. This is the traditional treatment if a cracked tooth has weakened a tooth’s enamel. To preserve the tooth, a crown can be placed to ensure a patient still has use of that tooth. Crowns look and function exactly like original teeth, so they’re a perfect option for those who suffer from a cracked tooth.
Root Canal: When a crack in a tooth is so severe that it reaches the pulp of the tooth, an infection may occur. This requires a root canal treatment, which is the removal of the tooth’s pulp and replacement with filling and antibiotics to both preserve the tooth and stop infection. Then a crown is placed so the patient can regain function and a beautiful smile.
Extraction: Although we always attempt to deliver conservative options, sometimes fractures in teeth are so deep that they are either non-repairable or the amount of work and costs to attempt a repair is not favorable. In these cases, the tooth may need to be extracted. There are always options available to restore the missing tooth and we can discuss those options given your individual situation. These options usually include dental implants, bridges, or removable appliances.
Help for Cracking Teeth in Jupiter, Florida
Do you feel or see that you may have a cracked tooth? Wteethhile cracked teeth don’t heal on their own, there are dental treatments that can help people living with cracked teeth regain the function and natural look of their smile. Find out more about the dental treatment options available at Riverbend Family Dentistry and our comforting care on our website.