Anyone can crack a tooth at any time and anywhere. If this happens, you should schedule a visit with your dentist in Sparks as soon as you can. But there are a few things you can do at home to help protect your tooth and relieve any pain that you may have. Keep in mind, these tips are only temporary and you still need to be seen by a dentist for proper treatment.
If you happen to crack a tooth at night or on a weekend when your dentist may not be readily available, try these tips for temporary help:
- If you can, take over-the-counter pain medication.
- Use a dental anesthetic to help numb the area.
- Rinse with warm salt water a few times a day to remove bacteria.
- Apply an ice pack to your cheek to reduce swelling.
Signs of a Cracked Tooth
Sometimes you can crack a tooth and not even know it. But most often, a cracked tooth comes along with a few key signs, including the following from the American Association of Endodontists:
- Pain while chewing
- Sensitivity to hot, cold, and sweets
- Pain that comes and goes
Cracked Tooth Treatment
If you do crack a tooth, don’t worry. There are several different ways that your dentist in Sparks may use to fix it.
Bonding – Bonding is a simple, painless way to repair a cracked tooth. Your dentist will fit the crack with a sticky resin, harden it using a special light, and restore your tooth.
Dental Crowns – Another option to treat a cracked tooth is a dental crown. This is usually more appropriate for a larger crack. Your dentist in Sparks will create and place a custom crown over the affected tooth, protecting it from more damage. Each crown is designed to match the shape, color, and size of your other teeth so nobody will ever know it’s there.
Root Canal – If a crack is deep enough to affect the inner tooth, you may need a root canal. A root canal may sound scary and painful, but the opposite is true. During a root canal, your dentist will remove any affected pulp which will relieve any pain you may have. A root canal can also protect you from developing an infection.
Tooth Extraction – When a cracked tooth goes beyond repair and affects too much of the natural tooth structure, your dentist may recommend an extraction. However, many times, extracted teeth can be replaced with a dental implant or bridge so you don’t need to live with a missing tooth.
It is possible to have a cracked tooth and not know it. However, the longer a cracked tooth goes undetected and untreated, the more it can lead to bigger problems. This is why it’s so important to see your dentist at least twice a year. These regular visits help identify any problems early while they’re easier to treat.
Nobody likes to hear that they have a cavity, but cavities are the most common dental problem that your dentist in Sparks treats every single day. In fact, over 90% of Americans between 20-64 years old have had at least one cavity. What causes such a widespread problem? Well, it depends on a variety of factors, which we’ll explore in this blog.
When we talk about cavities, we’re essentially talking about tooth decay. Tooth decay is a disease that wears down tooth enamel and can affect the inner workings of teeth – including the dentin and the pulp. The deeper the decay goes, the more likely it is that you’ll experience symptoms. Decay can occur for a number of reasons, so it’s important to understand the causes so that you can take steps to prevent it.
- Oral Hygiene
One of the main causes of decay and cavities is a result of poor oral hygiene. You should brush your teeth twice a day, morning and night. But brushing alone isn’t enough to fully protect your teeth. You should also floss in between each and every tooth every day. If you don’t floss, you’re missing out on cleaning a large portion of your teeth, and it can put you at risk for tooth decay. In fact, most adult cavities form in between teeth.
- Sugar & Plaque & Bacteria, Oh My!
The other main cause behind dental decay is a combination of what we eat and how our mouths react during digestion. Let’s take sugar as an example. While you may think that sugar causes cavities, your dentist in Sparks wants you to know that that’s not entirely accurate. You see, it’s not the sugar that causes decay but rather how the sugar feeds bacteria that causes cavities. When we consume sugary foods or drinks, the bacteria in our mouths feed on the sugar and release an acidic byproduct. This acid attacks tooth enamel which can lead to erosion and, eventually, decay.
There are times when you won’t even know that you have a cavity. This happens when the decay is in the early stages and it’s also when it’s the easiest for your dentist in Sparks to treat. However, when the decay affects the inner tooth and hits the nerves, you may start to notice some common cavity symptoms, including:
- Increased sensitivity
- Pain when biting down
- Seemingly random tooth pain
- Pain when eating sweets
- Visible holes
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, call your dentist to schedule an appointment.
The best way to prevent cavities requires a few different things. But the good news is, they’re all easy. Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and see your dentist in Sparks twice a year. Also, try to limit your intake of sugary treats and drinks to reduce the chance of cavities.