If your tooth cracks, it’s natural to be alarmed – for more reasons than one. A cracked tooth can range from mild to severe pain. However, many people hesitate to obtain treatment and wonder whether or not a cracked tooth can heal naturally, due to financial concerns. The truth of the matter is that it depends on the severity of the crack.
Here, we’ll go over the various types of cracked teeth, at-home treatments you can do to alleviate pain, and whether a cracked tooth can heal naturally or you need to see an endodontist.
What Can Crack Your Teeth?
There are many different things that can crack a tooth. Some of the most common causes of cracking teeth include:
- Grinding and clenching your teeth
- Biting something hard
- Blunt force trauma
- Gum disease
- A filling that is too big
- Abrupt changes in mouth temperature
Some people suffer from bruxism and may need a mouthguard in order to protect their teeth. In order to avoid cracking your teeth, you’ll want to ensure that you take proper care of your teeth, avoid biting or chewing hard foods, and resist the urge to use your teeth as tools.
Our previous blog, What Causes Cracked Teeth?, goes into this information in more detail.
The Different Types Of Cracked Teeth
Whether or not your tooth can heal naturally depends on the type of crack you’ve suffered. There are many different types of tooth cracks – the vast majority of which require prompt dental treatment.
Some of the different types of cracks include:
- Craze lines are tiny cracks in your enamel. These usually aren’t painful and are extremely shallow. They are the only type of crack that you can technically live with.
- Fractured cusps are when part of your tooth’s surface breaks off. This usually happens around fillings.
- A cracked tooth is what it sounds like. The crack may just be on the chewing part of your tooth or it may extend all the way down through the root.
- Split teeth are what happens when you ignore a cracked tooth. Just as the name implies, they’re split into separable parts.
- Root fractures happen at the bottom of the tooth’s root and extend upwards.
Can You Heal Cracks Naturally?
Whether you’re trying to avoid a dental bill or you’re a major advocate for all things natural, wondering if a cracked tooth is something that can heal naturally is typically well-intentioned. Unfortunately, you’ll be disappointed to learn that no, cracks don’t heal naturally, not unless they’re extremely small.
Provided you’ve only sustained minimal damage, like a craze line, there’s a possibility that it could heal naturally through the remineralization process. However, if you have any type of cracked tooth, it’s vital that you make an appointment with your endodontist. Ignoring cracked teeth can result in you losing said teeth if it goes on long enough.
Are There At-Home Remedies For Teeth Cracks?
No, there aren’t. However, there are things that you can do in order to alleviate your pain before you go to the dentist to have the crack treated.
Some of the things you can do include:
- Putting an ice pack over your cheek or lip to reduce inflammation.
- Do a warm salt water rinse to remove bacteria.
- Bite gauze to prevent the crack from damaging your mouth.
- Keep your head elevated.
- Take painkillers.
Why Don’t Teeth Heal Naturally?
It’s often said that teeth are bones. This can cause some confusion when people learn that teeth can’t heal naturally, because other bones can. This is because teeth are not actually bones, though they may look like it.
Teeth are made out of dentin, enamel, cementum, and pulp. While your teeth undergo a process called remineralization, they can neither regenerate nor remodel themselves. If your tooth sustains damage, your tooth can only produce very small amounts of new dentin, which is why they cannot heal naturally.
Bones, on the other hand, are made out of living tissue and protein collagen. Bones are constantly being remodeled and regenerated. They also have marrow. This is why your bones can heal themselves but your teeth typically cannot.
Do You Have A Cracked Tooth?
If you have a cracked tooth, it’s very important that you don’t ignore it and that you schedule an appointment to have it treated as soon as possible. Depending on the type and severity of the crack, treatments vary. David G. Johnson, DDS, provides expert treatment options for cracked teeth. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.