What Do I Do If My Tooth Cracked?

Cracked tooth emergency dentists Jackson MI

Having a cracked tooth is never fun. However, it’s important to not panic and seek out professional care courtesy of our Jackson, MI, emergency dentists. Once you’re here, we can better assess the situation and decide what the next steps should be.

Here’s what you should know with regards to the symptoms and treatment of cracked teeth.

Common Signs of a Cracked Tooth

For many, the biggest indication that your tooth has cracked is sudden pain when biting or chewing. This can happen especially when you ease up on the bite or expose the tooth to cold, heat, or extreme sweetness.

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Discomfort from a cracked tooth can also appear at random and cease soon after it starts. When this happens, our team of dentists may need to investigate deeper with X-rays as it can otherwise prove difficult to locate the damaged tooth. Upon examination, it’s possible we may also find gum swelling around the affected area.

If you’re experiencing any intense tooth pain, we urge you to call our Jackson dental office. Ignoring a dental emergency can result in worse complications down the road.

How Your Tooth Can Crack

Cracks in teeth can materialize in a few different ways and how your tooth has cracked will influence the type of treatment chosen. Already mentioned above, patients often find that they have cracked teeth after snacking on hard foods like nuts, candy, or popcorn with kernels.

Other causes of a cracked tooth include:

  • Grinding or clenching your teeth
  • Large dental fillings that weaken the natural tooth structure
  • Dental injury, i.e., getting hit in the mouth while playing sports
  • General wear and tear as you age
  • Sudden temperature changes in the mouth

As soon as you visit our dentists, we can examine your tooth and see how it has cracked. If you have “craze lines” or small cracks in your tooth’s enamel, it’s likely you will not require any treatment and these should cause no pain. Larger cracks, however, will need to be remedied before further damage occurs.

Cracks in teeth may also appear in the following ways:

  • Fractured cusp: Typically happens around a filling and doesn’t negatively affect the tooth pulp or cause much pain.
  • Vertical root fracture: Starts underneath the gum line and reaches upward. Symptoms are usually minimal unless infection sets in. There are high chances tooth extraction will be needed for this type of crack.
  • Split tooth: A crack that can separate a tooth into two parts and goes from the surface to below the gum line. This type of crack is extensive and may result in extraction though our dentists may be able to save a portion of the natural tooth.
  • Crack extension into gum line: You will need immediate treatment for the best chances of saving your tooth. If you have a crack that hasn’t gone under the gum line yet, we can generally rescue the tooth with no issue.

Possible Treatment Options

Depending on the severity of your cracked tooth, treatment may vary. Our dentists could go the way of cosmetic bonding and place tooth-colored composite resin into the crack to restore its look and function. We could also determine that a protective dental crown is the best solution.

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When the crack itself has reached the inner portion of your tooth, the pulp, it’s possible a root canal procedure may be in order. We’ll remove the damaged pulp and take measures to prevent future infection or structural issues.

Play it Safe, Make an Appointment

You never want to wait around when you’re dealing with a cracked tooth. Even if it doesn’t look bad, you could be putting yourself at risk for infection or further damage. When you come into our office, our emergency dentists in Jackson, MI, can take a closer look and provide you with the treatment you need most. Call The Dental Experience today at (517) 787-5367 to request an appointment.

This blog post has been updated.

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