DENTAL HEALTH : How To Take Care Of A Cracked Tooth

A cracked tooth can result from chewing on hard foods, grinding your teeth at night, and can even occur naturally as you age. It’s a common condition and the leading cause of tooth loss in industrialized nations.

A tooth may crack due to a variety of factors including

  • Blunt Trauma.
  • Stress on a particular tooth from chewing on hard objects or foods such as ice, nuts or hard candy.
  • An accident, such as a blow to the mouth; grinding and clenching your teeth.
  • Uneven chewing pressure; stress on a tooth; loss of a significant portion of tooth structure through wear, large fillings or other restorations.
  • Exposure of tooth enamel to temperature extremes, such as eating hot food and drinking ice water.
  • Brittleness of teeth that have undergone endodontic(root canal) treatment.

Perhaps the biggest complication of a cracked tooth is an infection that can spread to the bone and gums. Some symptoms of a dental infection (also known as a tooth abscess) include fever, pain when chewing, swollen gums, sensitivity to heat and cold, tender glands in the neck and bad breath. Your dentist may try to drain pus from the infection and then prescribe an antibiotic to kill the bacteria.

Why does a cracked tooth hurt?

A cracked tooth may hurt because the pressure of biting causes the crack to open. When you stop biting, the pressure is released and a sharp pain results as the crack quickly closes. Even though the crack may be microscopic, when it opens, the pulp inside the tooth may become irritated. The pulp is a soft tissue that contains the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels. If the crack irritates the pulp, the tooth may become sensitive to temperature extremes. If the pulp becomes damaged or diseased as a result of the crack, root canal treatment may be necessary to save the tooth.

Depending on the size and location of the crack, treatment may vary from bonding to root canal treatment. A severely cracked tooth may need extraction. Your dentist will determine the best treatment for you. Tiny cracks are common and usually do not cause problems. Regular dental checkups are important because they allow your dentist to diagnose and treat problems in the early stage. If you continue to have pain, avoid chewing on that side of your mouth and call your dentist.

While cracked teeth are not completely preventable, you can take some steps to make your teeth less susceptible to cracks.

  • Don’t chew on hard objects such as ice, unpopped popcorn kernels or pens.
  • Don’t clench or grind your teeth. If you clench or grind your teeth while you sleep, talk to your dentist about getting a retainer or other mouthguard to protect your teeth.
  • Wear a mouthguard or protective mask when playing contact sports.

What Causes Bleeding Gums?

Bleeding gums are the first and foremost signs of a gum disease. They can also be caused due to other factors that are discussed below:

  • Gingivitis: If you do not maintain good oral hygiene , plaques can form on your gum line. The accumulation of these plaques can cause gingivitis, which, in turn, can lead to inflammation and bleeding of your gums.
  • Periodontitis: When gingivitis is left untreated, and it continues to an advanced stage, it is referred to as periodontitis or periodontal disease. This leads to infection of your gums and jaw and can also cause your teeth to loosen and fall out.
  • Vitamin C and K deficiencies.
  • Individual wearing dentures may also experience bleeding gums.
  • The hormonal changes during pregnancy are another cause of bleeding gums.

Ways to Stop Bleeding Gums
  • Practice good oral hygiene. Bleeding gums may be a sign of poor dental hygiene.
  • Rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Reduce stress level.
  • Increase your intake of vitamin C.
  • Increase your intake of vitamin K.
  • Apply a cold compress.
  • Eat fewer carbs.

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