Dental Hygienists: Expert Tips for HomecareDental Hygienists: Expert Tips for Homecare

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Dental Hygienists: Expert Tips for Homecare

In between regular cleanings with a dental hygienist, many people wonder what they can do to clean, protect and strengthen their teeth. If you are one of the many people with questions, this blog is designed to help you keep your teeth sparkling in between professional cleanings. It shows you how to adapt professional dental hygiene methods for your home, it explores home whitening techniques, it discuses the best flossing strategies and more. If you want to protect your smile, stick around. You will love the tips, tricks and ideas about dental hygiene that you learn from this blog. Although professional cleanings are necessary, these is a lot you can do in between your appointments, and you can learn about that here. Thanks!

Deceptive Dental Problems: Are You Experiencing Cracked Tooth Syndrome?

People tend to judge a dental emergency by its obviousness (often a damaged tooth is clear as day), or by their discomfort. A toothache is sometimes an erratic form of pain since the pain might come and go, triggered by bite pressure or even seemingly without cause. The cause of your pain might seem unclear, as the suspected troublemaker tooth might appear to be perfectly healthy. However, a tooth can be remarkably deceptive when it comes to identifying the cause of your symptoms. You might be dealing with cracked tooth syndrome (CTS).

Largely Invisible

A cracked tooth sounds dramatic, doesn't it? CTS isn't quite so conspicuous. The crack can remain largely invisible without diagnostic tools, and even then, a dentist can have trouble identifying it. It's slightly problematic to diagnose as the tooth has remained intact, with its vertical crack largely blending into your dental enamel. The tooth is undeniably damaged, and this damage (including your pain) is only going to escalate.

Potential Emergency

CTS should be dealt with as soon as possible, and when the pain becomes intolerable, you should treat the situation as an emergency. You can't delay treatment, and may need to consult an emergency dentist. Their first priority will be to save the tooth, but their likelihood of success depends on how far the inconspicuous crack has developed. 

Still Intact (For Now)

A tooth experiencing CTS is still intact, although it will begin to fragment as the crack becomes longer and deeper. A crack will permit bacteria and other contaminants to make contact with your tooth's dentin (ordinarily protected by your dental enamel). When dentin is exposed, the tooth's pulp — its nerve — begins to protest, becoming inflamed and infected, which is the cause of your pain. As mentioned, this is likely only going to worsen, which is why emergency treatment can be essential at this point.

Assessing The Crack

A dentist will attempt to assess the precise configuration of the crack. Should the crack not have extended vertically beneath the gum line, the tooth can often be restored. The crack will be sealed (using a tooth-coloured dental composite resin), and the pulp will gradually return to its usual vitality. If the crack is already at the gum line, the tooth can still generally be saved, although its pulp may have suffered irreversible damage. This means that the tooth may need root canal treatment to remove the affected pulp, and will ultimately need to be reinforced with a dental crown. 

Below The Gum Line

Sadly, if the tooth's vertical crack has extended below the gum line and has affected the tooth's roots, then the tooth may no longer be restorable. Regretfully, extraction becomes more likely, and you and your dentist will need to discuss your replacement options (such as a dental implant or dental bridge). This is why it's so crucial to have suspected CTS investigated as soon as possible.

In its early stages, CTS is highly-treatable. Your discomfort may warrant a trip to an emergency dentist, and this may prove to be essential—to manage your pain, and to ensure that the tooth has a chance of survival.