cracked tooth

Is it Safe to Leave a Cracked Tooth Untreated?

June 29, 2022

Ever bit down on a piece of candy only to discover you’ve cracked your tooth? There are a million ways you can crack your tooth and while it may not seem like a big deal at the time, leaving a tooth chipped can cause problems to your dental health. This article will explain what you should look out for if you happen to get a cracked tooth.

How Do You Crack a Tooth?

While your teeth may be tough, they still are able to be cracked and broken. No matter how active you are, you can break a tooth sitting, playing football or even sleeping (in the case of teeth grinding.) These following reasons may be why your teeth could or perhaps already have cracked:

  • Teeth Grinding (called Bruxism)
  • Biting down on hard objects or food
  • Falling down
  • Getting hit in the face/mouth
  • Using your teeth as tools to open/puncture
  • Fillings getting too large
  • Untreated cavities

How to Know Your Tooth is Cracked/Injured

A cracked tooth can be caused by a multitude of reasons and the severity can range from significant to a small chip. It is important to take notice of how bad the injured tooth is right away. A big crack will leave dentin (beneath enamel, but before pulp) and the pulp (a mass of connective tissue that resides within the center of the tooth) exposed. This will cause pain and perhaps even a little bleeding. If this is the case, bacteria can get into the cracks and begin to cause issues, such as pain, discomfort, discoloration and infection.

Symptoms of a Cracked Tooth

Some of the most telltale signs of a cracked tooth are:

  • Swollen gums
  • Pain when chewing or eating
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Pain that comes and goes or stays if the injury is bad enough
  • General feeling of discomfort in the mouth

What to Do if Tooth Gets Cracked?

No matter the severity, it is important to make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to rule out any infections or issues right away. The sooner you see your dentist, the more likely it will be that your tooth can be saved. They can also get your tooth cleaned and fixed in no time, making it hard for any infections to take hold.

If your tooth cannot be saved, your dentist will extract it and replace it with a bridge, dental implant, or other option. Until you are able to see your dentist, these following steps will help ease any discomfort or pain until you can see a professional:

  • Rinse out your mouth with warm water
  • Apply pressure to area if bleeding with gauze
  • Apply cold pack to cheek or area
  • If in pain, take over-the-counter pain medicine 
  • Call your dentist

Should I Leave a Broken Tooth Alone?

A broken tooth should never be left alone or untreated. Even if your tooth isn’t hurting you, it can put you at risk of more serious issues. Acute infections can lead to abscesses, which are sacs in the mouth filled with bacteria, pus and plaque. These can be incredibly painful and very harmful to the body if the infection gets into your bloodstream. The longer you wait to be seen, the worse your injury can get and the more expensive and complicated the treatment will have to be.

Your best course of action anytime you injure a tooth is to call your dentist and get an appointment immediately.

Your Way to a Perfect Smile

Carrie Muzny DDS provides the highest-quality dental services and care for our patients in The Woodlands and surrounding areas. Our highly acclaimed team is exceptionally trained in modern preventative techniques, restorative dentistry, surgical procedures, and cosmetic dentistry.
With state-of-the-art technology and a vast range of smile-perfecting procedures, we stay at the top of our field and deliver smiles as sunny as the state of Texas! To let us help you get that perfect smile, contact us today. You can even request a virtual consultation!

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