Your teeth are very strong. They can chew through ice, nuts and many people use them as tools, though that is highly discouraged by the dental community. But your teeth are not perfect. They can break and they can also crack.
A broken tooth you will probably notice, but, like your bones, you can get a hairline crack in a tooth. If you get a hairline crack, you probably won’t notice it. Teeth can crack in a variety of ways and in many different locations. They can crack near the gum line, at the cusp, along the crown, and even below the gumline. One thing is for sure, they will become painful as the crack gets worse.
What Are the Hidden Dangers?
The biggest hidden danger is an infection. As you know, your mouth is full of bacteria. Your saliva, tooth brushing, mouthwash, and flossing help remove the debris from what you’ve eaten. But they can’t rid your mouth of all of it and if you have a crack in your teeth, at some point debris will get inside the crack. As you chew, the tooth will expand along the crack and the bacteria and debris enter. Your mouth is the perfect environment for bacterial growth and that is what can cause infections.
If you have a cracked tooth that gets infected, you develop what is called an abscess. The problem with abscesses is that the infection doesn’t always stay in your mouth. This is particularly true of cracks that go below the gumline.
If you have an infection, there are several consequences to leaving this infection untreated. You can develop cysts, fistulas, or sepsis can result. If you develop a fistula, which is a result of not treating an abscess, or a cyst, which sometimes happens when a severely damaged tooth gets extracted, you will need further dental treatment. This could be a root canal or other dental surgery.
The most serious result of untreated dental cracks that result in infection is sepsis. If your abscess is left untreated, the bacteria can spread to other parts of your body, such as your head, chest, or neck. Sepsis is a life-threatening condition and cannot be shrugged off.
If you believe you have a dental crack contact us immediately so we can get you taken care of.