Have you ever experienced that shocking moment when you realize your tooth has split in half? We understand how alarming and painful this can be. At Eastern Idaho Endodontics, we’re here to help you understand what’s happening and guide you through the steps to take next.

What Causes a Tooth to Split?

A tooth can split vertically due to several reasons, including:

  • Injury or Trauma: A direct hit to your mouth from a fall, sports injury, or accident.
  • Weakened Tooth Structure: Teeth that have undergone previous dental work or have large fillings may be more susceptible.
  • Bruxism: Grinding your teeth can put excessive pressure on them, leading to fractures.
  • Severe Decay: When decay penetrates deeply, it can weaken the tooth from the inside out.

Signs of a Split Tooth

If your tooth splits, you might notice:

  • Sharp pain: Especially when chewing or when the tooth is exposed to hot or cold temperatures.
  • Visible crack: A visible line running down the tooth.
  • Sensitivity: Increased sensitivity in the affected tooth.
  • Swelling: Swelling around the affected area.

What to Do Immediately

First things first, don’t panic! Here are some immediate steps you can take:

  1. Rinse Your Mouth: Gently rinse your mouth with warm water to keep the area clean.
  2. Protect the Tooth: If there’s any piece of the tooth that has come off, try to save it and avoid chewing on that side of your mouth.
  3. Pain Relief: Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage the discomfort until you see your dentist.

Treatment Options

The treatment for a split tooth depends on the severity and location of the fracture:

  • Bonding: For minor cracks, dental bonding might be an option to restore the tooth’s appearance and function.
  • Root Canal Therapy: If the crack extends into the pulp (the tooth’s inner layer), a root canal may be necessary to remove the damaged pulp and save the tooth.
  • Crown: A dental crown can cover and protect a significantly damaged tooth.
  • Extraction: In severe cases where the tooth cannot be saved, extraction may be the only option, followed by options like implants or bridges to replace the missing tooth.

Prevention Tips

To prevent future tooth fractures:

  • Wear a Mouthguard: Especially if you play sports or grind your teeth at night.
  • Avoid Hard Foods: Be cautious with foods that can crack your teeth, like hard candies or ice.
  • Regular Dental Checkups: Regular visits to your dentist can help catch and treat problems before they escalate.

At Eastern Idaho Endodontics, we’re committed to providing you with the best care possible. If you find yourself dealing with a tooth split in half vertically or any other dental happening, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’re here to help you smile confidently again!