What to Do When You Have a Cracked Molar
Having a cracked molar can be a very embarrassing, painful, and potentially infectious problem. Many people believe that only poor degenerates and drug addicts crack and lose their teeth, but this is not true. In fact, a startling amount of people crack molars and other teeth and have to have them removed or repaired.
If you have a cracked molar, or are concerned about your dental well-being, this article serves as an overview to cracked and broken molars, what to expect, and how to prevent them.
One of the most common causes of a cracked molar is silver fillings. Although fillings are meant to protect your teeth and elongate their usefulness, silver fillings can enlarge as years go on. This added pressure is applied from the inside out, and this can easily cause an otherwise healthy molar to break down or crack.
Another common cause of cracked and broken teeth is bruxism, grinding. The pressure and friction that is placed on the teeth while grinding can be quite taxing on molars, particularly if they are not in tip-top shape. The integrity of the teeth will eventually dwindle and fade, leaving the molar susceptible to cracks and fractures.
What to Do and Expect
As one might expect, it is a good idea to seek the professional care of a board certified dentist if you discover that one of your teeth has cracked. Aside from the cosmetic benefits to this, depending on the type and severity of the crack, you could develop a very serious infection if the broken tooth is left untreated.
While dental work can be quite costly, particularly if you lack insurance, there are treatments you can opt for that are not quite as expensive. For instance, your dentist may simply remove the cracked or broken tooth for you if it is severe enough. This method is generally a small fraction of the cost of a root canal and crown, so decide what is best for you and your situation.
If you are unable to get to the dentist for a while, then be sure to not further aggravate the tooth in question. Do not chew too hard with the side of your face that the broken molar is on.
Preventing Cracks in Your Molars
It does not matter how often they are told, there will still be people out there that refuse to brush their teeth twice daily. Unfortunately for them, they have increased risks of dental problems beyond a simple cracked molar.
Other factors can come into play as well, though. A good habit to get into is to avoid eating cold food immediately after hot food, and vice versa. By doing so, you exert a great deal more pressure on teeth. This is similar in principle to dropping ice cubes in a glass that has just been pulled hot from the dishwasher.
Avoiding soda and other acidic drinks is also an effective way to assist in the prevention of tooth cracking. This does not mean that sugary sodas have to be cut out altogether. You may want to consider drinking some water afterwards though, before the acid has a chance to dull the brightness and compromise the strength of the tooth enamel.
If you’ve noticed a proclivity towards cavities and tooth decay, despite your best efforts at brushing, there are mouthwashes on the market now that have the ability to strengthen and repair enamel. While good brushing still plays the primary defensive role for your teeth, these new total care mouthwashes are powerful allies and can go a long way toward removing damaging elements and bacteria from your teeth and mouth.