If you have broken a tooth, then it is important to see your dentist as soon as possible so that a possible fix can be completed. Without a repair, the tooth will likely deteriorate quickly due to the exposure of the soft dentin material. Repairs can be completed in a variety of ways, but a dental crown will likely be placed if your tooth has cracked. A dental crown is a great investment, and you are likely to retain the implement for many years. You need to prevent complications though, and one issue involves the formation of cavities underneath the crown material.
Clean Thoroughly Around Gaps
Dental crowns are personalized implements that are made with precision for each patient. The crown process starts when your natural tooth is ground down to make room for the porcelain cap. After grinding is complete, your dentist will use soft materials to take an impression of your mouth. Several molds will be made from this impression at a dental laboratory, and your crown is formed when porcelain materials are exposed to high heat and fitted into the mold.
When this crown is created, the edges of the porcelain will be tapered down close to the gum tissues. This gives the crown a natural look and it also allows the device to fit properly without causing trauma to the soft tissues of the mouth. A small gap or crevice will be left around the edge of the crown though. The opening leaves a small amount of the lower dental root exposed and food can accumulate in the area and cause dental decay.
Clearing the Gap
Dental crowns should be treated like regular teeth. This means that you should use your regular toothbrush and toothpaste to clean the tooth. Floss should be worked around the sides of the crown as well. Once general cleaning is over, you also need to pay special attention to the small gap around the crown. Consider purchasing a water flosser to clean the area.
Water flossers are effective cleaning tools to remove food and plaque around dental appliances. They also flush out gum pockets and release debris from underneath the gum tissues. The flosser can also release biofilm that is attached to the exposed tooth material around the edge of the dental crown. This film is a strong layer of bacteria that is difficult to remove.
Once you buy the water flosser, secure the classic or gum pocket cleaning tip on the device. Hold the pic at a 90 degree angle to the gums and use light pressure to clear away debris.
Reduce Crown Pressure
Cavities and dental decay can form underneath crowns as well when small cracks form in the porcelain. Porcelain is an extremely strong and durable material, and this is why it is often used to form dental crowns. However, the jaw muscles can force between 55 and 200 pounds of pressure on the teeth when you bite. This pressure will wear away at the porcelain over time. If you grind your teeth though, then the constant stress can cause a crack in your crown well before a replacement should be needed.
When a crack forms in the porcelain material, then bacteria will move into the opening and reach the natural tooth material underneath the crown. The microorganisms can then eat away at the tooth dentin. If a cavity then forms, then your dentist will need to remove your crown, release the cavity, and make a replacement device.
Wear a Bruxism Guard
If you grind your teeth, then you can prevent the formation of cracks in your dental crown by wearing a bruxism guard in the evening. The most comfortable and effective devices are ones that are produced by your dentist. These guards are made out of acrylic materials and they are thick and rigid. The guard snaps into place over the top teeth and a barrier is created between the upper and lower dental structures. This reduces pressure and stress.
Broken teeth can often be repaired relatively quickly by a dental professional at a place like Maplewood Dental Associates, PA, and dental crowns are used regularly to protect the teeth. Unfortunately, cavities can form underneath the crown. You can prevent decay though, as long as you clean around the crown properly and reduce stress on the porcelain.