“A smile is a curve which sets everything straight”, we all have heard this saying a number of times. But what we forget is that a good smile means good teeth. Our teeth can change the complete look of our face. One can have a beautiful face but an improper set of teeth. This will cause all attention to be drawn to those teeth and that will be an embarrassing situation.
It’s necessary to take care of our teeth and maintain good hygiene. For this to happen, any issues related to them should be treated as soon as possible. One such common issue is cracking of the tooth. Through this article, we will discuss how to fix a cracked and chipped tooth at home. We will also highlight the difference between the two.
A cracked tooth refers to a crack in the outer part of the teeth. It may be a small crack or slit but can cause difficulty in talking and eating.
A crack that is limited to the tooth can be treated. Immediate treatment should be given to the person to avoid further cracking or breaking of the tooth. A crack that has stretched beyond the tooth and to the gum is difficult to treat. In such conditions, home treatments are of no use.
In extreme conditions, Dentists advise that it is best for such a tooth to be removed permanently.
The reason behind this is – if a crack on the tooth extends to the gum and it is not removed, then the cracks will appear again after some time even when we get it fixed. Fixation is only a temporary treatment in such cases. The best way is to get rid of that tooth.
We will now discuss ways and means to fix a cracked tooth.
How to Fix a Cracked Tooth?
A cracked tooth can be treated in a variety of ways. The kind of treatment depends on the seriousness of the situation. The dentists assess the condition of the patient thoroughly before treating it. The conditions can be anything from mild to severe.
We will discuss some ways to fix a cracked tooth.
- 1st stage – Use of dental crown.
This method is effective in fixing a cracked tooth at the earliest stage. It is applicable only when the tooth has just begun to break or crack. The dental crown as the name suggests acts as a barrier between the cracked tooth and the outer surrounding. Anything that you eat or drink does not come in direct contact with the cracked tooth to avoid numbness and irritation. The crack heals after some time of wearing the dental crown.
- 2nd stage – Root canal procedure.
This method is adopted in stage two of cracked teeth. When the crack is more severe and cannot be fixed just by a dental crown, then root canal treatment is done before it. This treatment sounds scary to most patients but it is necessary to save the tooth and avoid infection. Delayed treatment can lead to the third stage where nothing much can be done to save the tooth.
- 3rd stage – Extraction of the tooth –
The tooth which is cracked beyond repair is extracted. This is usually done when the crack extends from tooth to the gum. Extraction of the tooth can affect every part of the mouth. As it is extracted from the core and the procedure is quite extreme. We should take precautions and immediate treatments to avoid getting to the third stage.
How to Fix a Cracked Tooth at Home?
When a tooth has just begun to crack, we can treat it at home also. Remember that the home remedies are useful only in the first stage of a cracked tooth. For severe conditions, it is best to see a dentist.
Below are some treatments that one can do at home to fix a cracked tooth –
- Do not cut the edges of the cracked tooth with sandpaper.
- Handle it by the outer part of the cracked tooth and do not exert much pressure on the root or gums. As by doing so, the crack may become deeper and extend till the gum.
- If the cracked tooth falls out, dip it in milk and place it in the position. Add just a little bit of pressure to get it stuck there but remember not to put a lot of pressure. You only have to place it in the socket.
- Do not rinse your mouth with alcohol in order to sterilize it. This will make the situation worse.
- You may also take pain relief medicines to soothe the pain.
What is Chipped Tooth?
A chipped tooth refers to a slit in a small part of the tooth. It usually takes place in the bottom-most part of the tooth. The teeth which are the most prone to be chipped are the front molars. The chipping of the tooth is less severe than cracking.
But, we should remember that a chipped tooth can take the form of the cracked tooth if the treatment is delayed. It is necessary to see a doctor when you have a chipped tooth.
We will now discuss some ways by which a chipped tooth can be fixed clinically and at home.
How to Fix a Chipped Tooth?
Chipped teeth may be caused by injuries like falling head first and hitting the tooth or exerting pressure on them. Below mentioned are some ways by which a chipped tooth can be fixed –
- Bonding –
Bonding refers to the layering of the chipped tooth by a material which has the colour of your tooth. This can help in healing the chipped tooth faster and more effectively. This method can also be used to make the tooth look better. Bonding is considered as a temporary method to heal chipped teeth and might require to be done again after some years.
- Onlays –
This method is a common way to avoid breaking or cracking of the tooth. It can be used to cure the chipped tooth and give it a natural shape and colour. This is not an extreme method and should be done as soon as you get a chipped tooth.
- Dental crowns –
Dental crowns are used in conditions of extreme chipping of the tooth. It is a permanent solution for a chipped tooth and by getting this, the tooth will never be chipped or cracked. Thus, the risks of further issues get reduced.
How to Fix a Chipped Tooth at Home?
A chipped tooth is not as concerning as a cracked tooth but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. In fact, it should be treated as soon as possible to avoid further chipping or even cracking of the tooth.
In situations when someone with a chipped tooth is not able to see a dentist, several remedies can be done at home to fix it or make it better.
The following are some remedies one can practice at home-
- Rinse your mouth with saltwater. You may also add a pinch of baking soda in warm water and then rinse it. This will avoid any further infection.
- If the pain is unbearable, you may consume any pain relief medicine which is suitable for your age.
- Cover your chipped teeth by wax or chewing gum. This will prevent it from cutting your tongue.
- Do not consume hot or cold food items as it may cause irritation in the tooth. Also, avoid chewing anything by exerting pressure on that tooth.
- One can use an ice bag and press it against the mouth to treat the pain and inflammation. Remember, to exert minimal pressure on the tooth.
Difference Between a Chipped and a Cracked Tooth
There is a lot of confusion that revolves around this question. Not many know the exact difference between a cracked and a chipped tooth. But it is important to know that to get proper treatment and to act accordingly.
- A cracked tooth is a more severe condition than a chipped tooth. The pain is higher and it is difficult to eat or talk.
- A chipped tooth can be treated within a day as the procedure followed are quite simple but it takes longer to fix a cracked tooth. More precautions have to be taken after treatment for a cracked tooth.
- A chipped tooth is usually caused in the front teeth whereas a cracked tooth is caused in the teeth at the back or the last few pairs.
- The chipping of a tooth takes place at the end of the tooth or at the bottom part. Whereas, the cracking of a tooth can take place in any part of the tooth.
The Bottom Line
We have now covered all ways through which a cracked and a chipped tooth can be fixed. At home and by treatment also. We should remember these ways and means to treat a cracked or chipped tooth.
Our teeth add beauty to our smile. We should take care of the health and hygiene of our teeth to avoid such situations. Cracking and chipping of teeth are usual problems and are faced by many. But we should never neglect or delay the treatment, otherwise, they could evolve into a much bigger problem.
One should seek professional help immediately and get the treatment done. We should follow all steps of dental health care to avoid visiting dentists now and then and maintain a healthy set of teeth.