Cracked Tooth Syndrome

If you’re in tooth pain, it can be hard to focus on anything else, and become a minor or major disruption to your daily routine. However, tooth pain comes in many different degrees and forms, and you may not know that its cause is something you need treatment for as soon as possible when it first arrives. If you’re in pain or have experienced a sudden change in tooth sensation, we encourage you to call our office to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Symptoms of Cracked Teeth

Cracked teeth can cause sudden or recurring pain or discomfort nearly anywhere in the mouth, due to something you ate, chewed, or were injured by. Unlike a toothache where pain is sharp and constant, a cracked tooth can result in slightly different symptoms, such as:

  • Having intermittent tooth pain
  • Feeling sharp pains when you chew
  • Wanting to chew only on one side of your mouth
  • Having increased sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet, or sour foods

These symptoms may be a sign of a cracked tooth or other issue that may require dental solutions such as a filling, onlay, or dental crown.

Risks and Causes of Cracked Teeth

Over time, your teeth endure constant and intense wear and tear that physically erodes the strength of the enamel that protects the softer inner parts of teeth where nerve endings reach. This leads to an increase in everyone’s risk for tooth damage and decay, including cracked teeth.

Specific foods and habits can further increase the wear on your teeth, such as frequently eating crunchy foods, hard candies, or even chewing ice, as well as potential medical conditions such bruxism (teeth grinding) or clenched jaw due to a TMJ disorder.

Teeth can also lose some of their natural integrity when they’ve already been treated once to fix a cavity with a filling or root canal. Finally, injuries sustained when playing sports or having some kind of mouth injury can affect the strength of your jaw and teeth.

Diagnosing and Treating Cracked Teeth

Teeth cracks come in all shapes and severities, and require full analysis before creating a custom treatment plan to ensure the most holistic and effective approach. First, you will likely have X-rays taken of the affected tooth/teeth as well as a physical examination of the area. Tooth fractures are commonly invisible except on X-rays, but understanding the surrounding teeth and gum tissue, as well as your natural bite are all helpful diagnostic tools when choosing a treatment plan.

Once our dentists have a solid idea of where the crack is and how deep it is, they will devise a treatment. For surface-level cracks, an onlay or crown may be all that’s required to reinforce the underlying tooth tissue for a long-term solution.

However, if the crack has reached the dentin or pulp layer of the tooth, it will first require a root canal before the structure will be strong enough to handle a crown.

Treating Cracked Teeth in Reno, NV

Don’t let tooth pain get unbearable before seeking treatment. Often, coming in for an examination and diagnosis early is key to having the best chance of saving your teeth and preventing extensive, expensive dental work from needing to be done. Our dentists are here to get you an appointment as soon as possible to address your dental care needs. Don’t hesitate to call our office today to schedule your appointment.

Are Soft Drinks Bad for Your Teeth?

Soft drinks can be extremely refreshing, and they might even be a regular part of your daily diet. There are plenty of reasons to only enjoy soft drinks in moderation – one of which is your dental health. That’s because soft drinks can cause damage to your teeth every time you sip! Here’s what to know about soft drinks and how you can keep your teeth healthy and strong.

How does soda damage your teeth?

Most sodas and soft drinks contain between 10-12 teaspoons of sugar per serving (about 8oz). All this sugar can coat your teeth and feed the bacteria that live there. These bacteria eat sugar and produce acid which can wear away at your enamel. When your protective enamel is worn away, it exposes the dentin underneath. Over time, this can cause problems like pain and even cavities. You may also become more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, and your teeth can appear more yellow. In severe cases, your teeth can begin to lose their natural shape. In short, soda can wear away your teeth over time and require some extensive repairs.

Should children have soda?

Although it’s okay for your child to enjoy a soda occasionally, you should make sure to keep an eye on your child’s soda consumption and help them understand it can hurt their teeth while they’re still forming. Even though it may seem safe because your child is still losing their baby teeth, these can still become damaged and infected like normal adult teeth and risk their health.

Is diet soda bad for your teeth?

It may seem like diet soda is a good alternative because it doesn’t have added sugar, but diet sodas, seltzers, and sparkling waters are still very acidic because of the carbonation. They usually contain citric, phosphoric, or tartaric acid which can erode your teeth the same as normal sodas, even if they’re lower in sugar. Make sure to enjoy diet sodas and sugar-free soft drinks in moderation, too.

How to keep your teeth healthy when drinking soda

The best way to keep your teeth protected from erosion from soft drinks is to avoid them and only enjoy them occasionally. Try and sip water throughout the day instead – for kids, swap out soda for milk to harden enamel with a valuable source of calcium. If you do drink soda, make sure to use a straw which can help the fluid bypass much of the surface of your teeth. Additionally, try not to sip on soda for extended periods of time. Finish it within a reasonable timeframe and then have some water to help flush out sugar and prevent plaque buildup. 20 minutes after you finish your soda, give your teeth a thorough brushing to fully get rid of any lingering sugar or acid.

Schedule an Appointment

The best way to keep your teeth healthy is by checking in with your dentist regularly. To meet with Drs. Struby and Smith and learn more, contact our Reno office by calling or filling out our online form.

Common Tooth Brushing Mistakes

south meadows dental reno

Brushing your teeth seems like a pretty simple activity to do to keep teeth and gums healthy; why do so many of us end up in our dentist’s office perplexed at the level of disease and decay that exists in our mouths? Maybe tooth brushing isn’t as simple as it seems; what if we’ve picked up some bad habits along the way that are contributing to oral disease and decay? There are common mistakes that many people make that contribute to poor oral health. Follow these simple tips for a healthy, gleaming smile AND a great report from your dentist:

Mistake #1: Keeping a toothbrush for too long

If you were to examine your toothbrush, what would you see? Do you leave toothpaste residue in between bristles, adding to the potential development of bacteria in your mouth? Are your bristles worn and tattered? The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months, so if you haven’t done so, it’s time to run to the store for a new toothbrush. Mark your calendar after purchasing, and commit to this simple act of self-care periodically as you shop for other household items. Your teeth will thank you.

Mistake #2: Not brushing long enough

Your brush should be brushed for at least two minutes, twice a day. This is about the length of the song Happy Birthday, sung two times through. While you can’t sing with a toothbrush in your mouth, you could hum or sing along in your head, making sure you scrub all surfaces of teeth, gums, and even your tongue thoroughly, rinse well afterward to make sure your mouth is squeaky clean.

Mistake #3: Brushing teeth too hard

Brushing your teeth too hard, or with a brush that has hard, wiry bristles can actually cause damage to your teeth. You can wear away protective enamel and erode gum tissue by brushing too hard. Use a gentle circular motion when brushing, and you’ll keep all tooth and gum surfaces intact.

Mistake #4: Brushing right after eating

If you have consumed something acidic, it’s best to wait at least 30 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth. Brushing too soon after eating or drinking acidic foods will actually embed the acid still present in the mouth into the enamel of your teeth, causing damage and erosion. Giving your saliva a chance to neutralize acid will prevent excess erosion from occurring.

Mistake #5: Storing brushes improperly

Your toothbrush should be well rinsed after every use, and it should be stored upright, giving it a chance to air out completely. Storing in an airtight container or in a glass with liquid gives germs and bacteria an opportunity to grow on your bristles, putting you at risk for more bacteria and infection to grow in your mouth with each use.

Mistake #6: Using improper brushing technique

Your tooth brushing should be done in a gentle, circular motion, encompassing both all tooth surfaces and gum tissue. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle, and use wide, thorough strokes when brushing, including the tongue and insides of cheeks as well. Brush for two minutes, and rinse with water thoroughly to remove excess food debris, toothpaste, and bacteria.

Mistake #7: Failing to floss

Brushing cannot reach everywhere in the mouth; floss is necessary for maintaining optimal oral health. After brushing, floss in between and around all teeth and along the gumline will significantly reduce your chances of developing gum disease and decay. Aim for flossing at least once daily for the best results.

South Meadows Dental: Your Partner In Oral Wellness

The talented and caring professionals at South Meadows Dental & Orthodontics have your oral health as their ultimate goal. Using a combination of cutting edge dental technologies, an emphasis on patient-centered care, and a passion for dental health, we will work with you to design a comprehensive care plan that works for you. Contact us today for more information and to set up an appointment. A healthy and vibrant smile is just a click away!