Cracks can range in severity from hairline cracks that do not cause pain or damage to the teeth to deep cracks that extend into the tooth’s root.
The crack may not be immediately visible to the naked eye. However, cracked tooth symptoms can include pain when chewing, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, and swelling.
If you suspect you have a cracked tooth, it is vital to seek care from an emergency dentist. If left untreated, a crack can lead to dental emergencies, and the tooth may eventually need to be extracted.
Cracked Tooth Symptoms: Pain
The pain may be intermittent, only occurring when you chew or bite down on the affected tooth. Or, it may be constant, even when you’re not eating. The type of pain you experience can help your dentist determine the damage to your tooth.
In some cases, nerve compression caused by the crack can lead to pain and dental emergencies, requiring emergency dentist care. In others, exposure of the dentin or pulp (the innermost layer of the tooth) can cause inflammation and lead to pain.
Cracked Tooth Symptoms: Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is a sharp shooting pain that occurs when damaged teeth are exposed to hot, cold, sugary, or acidic stimuli. There are several reasons for increased sensitivity:
- The crack provides a direct pathway for hot or cold temperatures to reach the nerve endings in the tooth.
- It can trap food particles and bacteria, leading to inflammation and infection.
- A cracked tooth is weaker than a healthy tooth, and it is more likely to break down over time. This can lead to further damage to the root and surrounding tissues, which can increase sensitivity.
Cracked Tooth Symptoms: Swelling
When a tooth is cracked, it provides a pathway for bacteria to enter the tooth and cause an infection. The body’s response to this infection is to produce inflammation, which manifests as swelling.
Is a Cracked Tooth a Dental Emergency?
A severely cracked tooth is a serious dental emergency that requires immediate treatment.
Left untreated, it can lead to complications such as infection, nerve damage, and even tooth loss. Even minor cracked teeth are susceptible to further damage, so it is vital to seek treatment as soon as possible.
Treatment for a cracked tooth depends on the severity of the damage but may involve restorative procedures such as bonding, crowns, or a root canal treatment. An emergency dentist may sometimes recommend extracting the tooth if it is too damaged to be saved.
Treatment for a Cracked Tooth
A cracked tooth can be a difficult problem to solve. The treatment you need depends on the severity of the crack. Some common treatment options are:
- If the crack is small and does not extend into the tooth’s root, bonding or a filling may be all that is needed.
- If the crack is large or extends into the root, a dental crown or root canal may be necessary to save the tooth.
- In some cases, an extraction may be the best option. If you decide to have an extraction, your dentist may recommend dental implants to replace the missing tooth and maintain your oral health. Read more about this procedure
Repair Your Smile With Dental Emergency Care at Gordon Family Dental
Dental emergencies can happen anytime, leaving you in pain and anxious about your smile. At Gordon Family Dental, we understand how important it is to get emergency dental care as quickly as possible.
We offer a range of dental emergency services to meet your oral health needs, and our experienced dental team can get the treatment you need to repair your smile. We accept most major insurance plans and offer financing options to make dental emergencies care affordable for everyone.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
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