As the name suggests, it involves the cracking of a tooth. This typically happens when you bite on hard foods all the time - nuts, ice, hard candies, or even bones - or if you grind your teeth. It can also be the result of a trauma from an accident or injury, or even an exposure to opposing extreme temperatures in your mouth. Those that are over 50 have more risk in having CTS.
There are a number of ways your teeth can crack with CTS. The most basic among them are known as craze lines which are tiny little cracks in your enamel. These aren’t painful and don’t need treatment, however, there are other cracks that will require you to get to your dentist at once. Fractured cusps, cracks that extend below your gum line, split teeth, and vertical root fractures are all types of CTS that must be expertly handled by your dentist.
How To Know If You Have CTS
As with any concern about your oral hygiene, you should certainly consult your dentist. If you suspect you have CTS though, you should look out for these symptoms and tell your dentist about them:
- Experiences of pain when chewing or biting
- Pain when you release your grip on a bite
- Extreme sensitivities to hot or cold foods
- Extreme sensitivities to sweet, sugary foods
- Pain that comes and goes
- Gum swelling around your affected tooth
Treatment Options For CTS
If the symptoms detailed above sound familiar, make an appointment with your dentist so you can get checked out. Not all X-rays can reveal cracks. Your dentist will also need to visually examine your teeth to get to the root of the problem, pardon the pun.
How your dentist handles your CTS really will depend on how big the crack is, where it is, the symptoms you’re experiencing and if it extends into your gum line. Most commonly, you may be facing one of these options.
In certain cases of CTS, bonding may be used to insert plastic resin into the crack. This restores the look of the tooth as well as its function.
Much like the kind a royal would wear on their head, a crown for your teeth is made from porcelain or ceramic though. Your dentist caps it on top of the damaged tooth.
If your crack extends into the pulp of your tooth, your dentist will try a root canal. This pulls the damaged pulp out to help restore the tooth’s health.
Sometimes, the damage from a cracked tooth is so severe that nothing will help it. In these cases, you have no other option but to have the offending tooth removed.
If all this sounds unpleasant, as it should, you should take good care of your teeth at home. The stronger your teeth are, the less likely they are to crack. Practice proper oral care and keep from chomping on hard foods. Watch out when eating popcorn or foods that have bone fragments like ribs or chicken wings to avoid biting too hard on a solid piece.
If you play sports, wear protective mouth gear, and if you’ve been grinding your teeth, talk to your dentist about wearable protection to keep from ruining your teeth. With the right care, you can avoid the troubles of CTS as you age and enjoy a healthy natural smile!
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Jennifer Raskin is a freelance writer, wife and mom that loves cold weather despite her location in Florida, cooking, reading, watching ‘80s movies, weight-lifting, and wine tasting.