Why Don’t Cracked Teeth Heal?

Take a moment to consider the scars (if any) on your hands, knuckles, arms, legs, torso, elbows, knees, and anywhere else that’s applicable. Depending on the injury, you may not have had to do much more than sterilize it and wait for it to heal. If a bone was broken, then it should have healed (hopefully) after being set properly. If you have a chipped or cracked tooth, then consider that, too. How long ago did it happen? Is the damage better, worse, or the same as when it first happened?

It’s What’s (Not) on the Inside that Counts

Your teeth are comprised a little differently than other parts of your body. Each tooth consists of two main regions known as the crown (upper) and root (lower). The crown, coated in a highly-resilient, highly-mineralized material called enamel, is made mostly of dentin, a dense substance similar to bone. The nerves and blood vessels at the center of the crown, or pulp, are the tooth’s only “living” tissues. They’re connected to the root canals that extend into your jawbone and carry nutrients to the tooth. What teeth don’t possess are regenerative cells that are necessary to repair damaged tissue and heal themselves. If enamel and dentin crack, the pulp will be exposed to a potentially necrotic infection, and professional treatment is necessary to save the tooth.

Now What?

Your tooth is cracked. Now what? In the case of dental health, time heals nothing; on the contrary, hesitation increases your risks of infection and irreversible damage. Call our office as soon as possible to schedule an emergency appointment with Dr. Wright, who’ll thoroughly examine the damage and suggest an appropriate course of treatment. If the discomfort is severe, then rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water. If a piece breaks off, collect the piece, rinse it, and bring it with you to our office. Typically, treatment will include cleaning and filling the tooth’s interior (if necessary), then placing a custom-made porcelain dental crown over it to protect it from further damage. However, the tooth might require an extraction and replacement if the fracture reaches its root.

About Your Southlake Dentists:

As a native Texan, Dr. Gregory Wright opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.