Monthly Archives: May 2015

Why do teeth crack?

Are you worried that you might have a cracked tooth? Signs of having a cracked tooth can be hard to spot but symptoms could display themselves as pain on chewing, especially when you release the biting pressure. Sensitivity to extreme temperatures such as a very cold drink or ice-cream may cause discomfort. Or sensitivity to sweetness with no sign of decay.

Why do teeth crack?

Teeth can crack for lots of different reasons, such as:

Extreme tooth grinding, which can put the teeth under enormous pressure

Large fillings that weaken the tooth

Chewing on hard things like toffees, boiled sweets, fruit stones or meat bones.

An injury such as a blow to the chin or lower jaw.

Gum disease that involves bone loss. This could make the teeth more likely to suffer from root fractures.

Sudden changes in mouth temperature. Some people have funny habits such as chewing on ice!

Can I stop my teeth cracking?

Not always but there are some precautions you can take, such as wearing a mouthguard if you know that you grind your teeth at night. Or wearing a custom-made sports mouthguard if you play sports. Also avoid biting or chewing on very hard objects such as ice or very hard nuts.

Teeth can crack in different ways and they don’t always need treatment

Split tooth: This is often the result of an untreated cracked tooth. The tooth splits into two parts. Vertical root fractures are cracks that start in the root and go up towards the biting surface.

Cracked tooth: This is when a crack runs from the biting surface of the tooth down towards the root. Sometimes it goes below the gum line and into the root. A cracked tooth is not split into two parts but the soft, inner tissue of the tooth is usually damaged.

Craze lines: These are tiny cracks that affect only the outer enamel of the tooth. They are common in all adult teeth and cause no pain. Craze lines need no treatment.

Cracked cusp: The cusp is the pointed part of the biting surface of the tooth. If a cusp becomes damaged, the tooth may break. You will usually get a sharp pain in that tooth when biting.

Do I need to see my dentist?

Yes it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible, the sooner you seek treatment the more effective it could be.

What could happen if I don’t seek treatment?

If left untreated a cracked tooth could lead to the nerve of a tooth dying and an abscess might grow. The tooth could need root canal treatment or even taking out. In severe cases the tooth can actually split in two. If this happens your dentist will not be able to save the tooth and it will need to be taken out.

How is a cracked tooth fixed?

The type of treatment depends on the type of crack and it’s severity. Treatments that can be done include:

Dental filling- depending on the severity and depth of a cracked tooth a filling may be suitable.

Dental bonding- this is when a plastic resin is used to fill the crack.

Cosmetic contouring- if the chip is very small then it may be possible to round off the rough edges and polish the tooth to blend away the crack.

Onlays and crowns- these are strong coverings that go over the tooth making it stronger and giving your tooth the appearance of a natural tooth. If the nerve has been damaged and becomes infected you may need to have root canal treatment first.

Extraction- if left untreated or the crack is severe then the only option may be to have the tooth removed.

If you are concerned that you may have a cracked tooth then seek treatment from your dental practitioner.


Dr Shrikesh Kotecha straightens out the truth about adult braces

six month smile brace before picture

Adults having braces is becoming increasingly common. Mums and Dads are seeing the massive benefits of having a nice, straight teeth and are going through orthodontic treatment with their teenagers.

But with so many options available to patients to improve their smile and straighten their teeth, it can be daunting to know where to start.



Here we interview Dr Shrikesh Kotecha of Smile Essential Dental Practice in Leicester to try and shed some light on the subject:


Why do you think more adults are having brace treatment?

“During the last five years a number of cosmetic brace systems have become available specifically designed for adults who have lived with crooked or overlapping teeth or even spaces/gaps between their teeth which can now be corrected in as little as four months without the stigma sometimes associated with metal or ‘train-track’ braces.”

What options are available to straighten people’s teeth?

“A number of options are available including cosmetic braces and clear aligners along with more traditional braces and treatments such as crowns and veneers.”

Which is better veneers or braces?

“I always believe that any treatment that is more conservative is always the better option for a patient. Treatments such as veneers can be carried out in certain clinical situations for example, to help to mask a discoloured (or is it discolored) tooth. As a profession there has been an emphasis on minimally invasive dentistry and I feel that providing brace treatments goes hand in hand with that ethos.”

Is it expensive?

“No, with advances in technology with things such as Six Month Smiles braces treatments are affordable for everybody. We also offer a number of 0% interest free flexible payment options too.”

Is there a health benefit to having straighter teeth?

“Yes, there is a significant health benefit to having straighter teeth- they are easier to clean and look after from a patient’s perspective, there is a lower risk of dental disease such as tooth decay and gum disease.”

How long does the treatment take?

“Cosmetic brace treatments with Six Month Smiles usually take between 4 to 9 months with an average treatment time of 6 months. To put that into context, if you had a Six Month Smile brace fitted today by the time of your next dental check up your treatment would probably be complete with nice straight teeth!”

Thanks Dr Shrikesh Kotecha for answering the questions. If you have any questions we would love to hear from you please connect with us on facebook or twitter.

Interested in improving your smile? Then you might find one of the following options useful:

Find out more about Six Month Smiles

Affordable Flexible Finance Options

Read about Dr Shrikesh Kotecha

Book an appointment with Dr Shrikesh Kotecha by calling Smile Essential on 0116 2891317 or contact us by email.


Do you need to pluck up the courage to go to the dentist? Then read this…

great customer care

The dentist is my biggest fear, I have had such horrible experiences with other dentists. I just didn’t want to come at all. After being recommended to Lina and Smile Essential, I finally decided to pluck up the courage to go.

I can finally say I have some confidence in a dentist. I was made to feel relaxed and calm on all appointments by Lina and all of the staff including the receptionists.

They used lots of techniques to make me more at ease and I felt they really cared. I cannot recommend Smile Essential Dental Practice enough.

I’m finally starting to feel comfortable about going to the dentist. Thank you Smile Essential.

Miss JW. Leicestershire

Click to see our New Patient Package

A Friendly Yet Professional Dental Service in Leicester

Cards from customers showing thanks to their dentist

I have had a completely satisfying experience the last 6 months here at Smile Essential Dentist. Everyone in the team has been extremely friendly but at the same time professional in explaining every aspect of the treatment and I feel very relaxed in the atmosphere created here. Thank you.

Mr AH. Leicester

Click to see details of our New Patient Package

Sensitive Spot?

We can all suffer from sensitive teeth at some point in our life from a mild twinge to an electric shock when eating ice-cream. But what causes sensitivity? Lots of things can cause sensitivity but generally sensitive teeth tends to be more common in older people, generally happening over the age of 30.

What causes the feeling of sensitivity?

Covering your teeth is a hard outer shell called the enamel, enamel is the hardest substance in your whole body! It covers the whole of the tooth above the gum level but underneath that the tooth surface is different and not as tough this is called the dentine.

Dentine has tiny tubes called ‘tubules’ that lead to the nerve and are filled with fluid. These are like pathways to the nerve of the tooth, telling them ‘ouch’.

Eating or drinking things that are hot, cold and sometimes sweet can cause a chemical change. This change can trigger what a nerve reaction which you experience as sensitivity.

How the dentine becomes exposed?

Brushing- bad brushing techniques like scrubbing the teeth can cause the gums to recede and expose the dentine.

Gum Disease- Gum disease (known as gingivitis) causes inflamed and sore gum tissue.  A sign you might be at risk of gum disease is if your teeth bleed when you brush. If left untreated gingivitis can cause the gums to recede causing sensitivity.

Acidic foods- If the pathways to your nerves are exposed then you might be surprised to find your teeth being sensitive to things like citrus fruits, pickles, tomato sauce, grapefruit, kiwi, and vinegars.

Whitening Toothpastes- Sometimes some of the tooth whitening pastes and polish are too abrasive. They are supposed to work by rubbing away surface stain. But this can also lead to rubbing away the enamel (which is the whitest part of the tooth) and exposing- yep you guessed it more dentine. Dentine is actually much darker than enamel so you could find that using these toothpastes your teeth actually become more darker.

A Cracked Tooth- When there is a crack in the tooth then everytime you eat or drink there is a direct path to the nerve of your tooth. This will require advice and treatment from your dentist.

Tooth Decay- dental decay will eat through the enamel and the dentine of the tooth exposing all of the dentine tubules and saying ouch probably every time you eat, drink or chew.

How to manage sensitivity

Step 1

Regular flossing and brushing your teeth as instructed will help to make your feel healthy all the time so you are less likely to feel that your teeth need ‘a good scrub’. Following this hygiene routine you prevent the risk of over brushing and the risk of gum disease.

Step 2

Use a toothpaste suited your needs. Using a toothpaste specially formulated for sensitivity will help to alleviate the symptoms of sensitivity. All sensitive toothpastes work in different ways so if you find one that works stick with it if you dont then try another for 2 weeks.

Step 3 

Follow the instructions on the toothpaste and mouthwash! Nobody ever read the instructions on toothpaste boxes right? We know because a large amount of patients we see will rinse out after using the toothpaste and a lot of sensitive toothpastes ask you not to.

Step 4

Always use a soft or medium toothbrush, hard toothbrushes are unnecessary and just work at brushing away your gums. Using an electric toothbrush such as a Philips Sonicare toothbrush will limit your chances of overbrushing.

Step 5 

See your dentist for regular check ups. They can check the most likely cause of sensitivity and advised you on areas that you may be over or under brushing. They’ll also instruct you on the best dental hygiene routine is and advised you on sensitivity.

If your sensitivity is extreme and persists no matter what you do see your dentist for an evaluation. They will be able to check the cause offer some guidance and reassurance. There are also treatment available at your dentist they may offer if you have tried all of the at home solutions.

Have a questions about sensitivity and would like some help? Get in touch with our friendly team by clicking here.