Though it may be a little scary, if you crack a tooth, do not panic. A cracked tooth is more popular than you think, and a dentist has options to repair it. Cracked teeth result from teeth grinding, trauma to the face, cavities, poor dental hygiene, chewing on a hard object, or bad bites.
To start with, any cracked tooth can be a dental emergency. This is because it can get infected. The crack might just affect the tooth enamel, or it might spread to the root.
Contact your dentist right away to see steps should be taken. Keep in mind that treatment choices for cracked teeth depend on the severeness. These will include root canals, crowns, tooth bonding, fillings, or teeth splints. Then, before you visit the dentist’s office, ensure you have a clean mouth as possible by using warm water to rinse. Be careful if chewing something so it does not crack more. And finally, in many cases, you should cover the cracked tooth to prevent exposing it to bacteria.
Is a cracked tooth an emergency?
Yes, a cracked tooth is certainly a dental emergency, particularly when paired with excruciating pain or too much bleeding. If it is not taken care of right away, bacteria will enter your gums and teeth and result in infection. This might need a root canal.
Crack a tooth? Here are some common causes:
The causes are both many and diverse. Here are a few things you need to know about.
Teeth also age. As you grow old, tooth damage from daily wear and tear builds up while the inner nerves shrink.
Gum disease is common and mainly avoidable as it’s associated with swollen, red gums that bleed easily. But this condition also triggers bone loss that leaves your teeth roots susceptible to fracture.
A wrongly aligned bite causes tooth wear and other problems that make the teeth weak.
This erodes the tooth enamel, which creates cavities and weakens the tooth structure. If left untreated, it will result in cracked teeth and tooth loss.
This is a condition where people regularly experience teeth-grinding. This puts a lot of pressure on the teeth. When you don’t treat it, it will erode, eat away at the tooth structure, and cause you to crack a tooth and other dental issues.
Many restorations and fillings
While restorations and fillings are tooth savers, they do not always restore the strength of a tooth. This can cause a tooth to weaken, which makes it crack.
An unexpected blow to the jaw or face may crack a tooth.
Chewing on objects such as fingernails, fruit pits, hard candy, ice, popcorn kernels, hard foods, bones, or pencils can trigger a crack in weak teeth.
Changes in temperature
Exposing the teeth to sudden changes in temperature will likely crack a tooth.
Here’s what to do when you crack a tooth
Take something for the ache
If the cracked tooth is aching, you can go for over-the-counter medication. This helps relieve swelling and pain.
Keeping the area clean
It is essential to keep the area clean after breaking, chipping, or cracking a tooth. You don’t want debris or bacteria to get into the gums or teeth, which can worsen the damage and cause infection. Make sure you do this to keep your mouth clean until you seek help:
- Rinsing with equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water
- Use saltwater to rinse
- Use clean gauze to pack the affected part
Remember to rinse after each meal and get in touch with your dentist. They will advise you on how to brush until the affected tooth is checked.
If you are experiencing oral trauma, such as a fall or slip, your mouth might bleed as well. It is best to use cotton balls or clean gauze to absorb the blood. Apply pressure to the affected area. Any bleeding should stop or slow down within one hour or two.
You can apply an ice pack externally to the cheek close to the site of the cracked tooth. The cold feeling helps numb the area and ease swelling and pain.
Things you should not do at home:
Don’t try any of these on your own:
- Using pliers to extract the tooth
- Using a nail file or sandpaper to grind the edges of the teeth
Crack a tooth? Seek professional help!
Taking preventive measures is the best treatment for all illnesses that involve the teeth. Don’t apply too much force while you chew food items. It’s good to use a slow pace to chew harder foods; chew with the back teeth. The forward teeth are susceptible to cracks.
Even if your tooth has just a slight chip, further damage may take place. If you disregard treatment as soon as you can, the lowermost structure of the tooth will still get infected. Only a dentist will properly pinpoint the kind of crack and treat it efficiently. Contact us as soon as possible.