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Cracking a tooth is a very worrying thing. It’s usually painful and accompanied by bleeding and pain in the mouth and gums. You might also worry about whether the cracked tooth will need to be extracted. The most important thing to remember is to seek expert help immediately, no matter what time of day it is. An after-hours dentist will be able to evaluate the damage and suggest treatments that should save your cracked tooth and return your mouth to good health once more.
What Causes Cracked Teeth
It’s actually fairly easy to crack a tooth. Any type of mouth injury can cause it, including physical injuries and accidents as well as eating hard food. If you tend to grind your teeth or clench your jaw you’re more likely to suffer from cracked teeth as well. These activities tend to damage the enamel and weaken the tooth overall.
It’s usually immediately obvious when you crack a tooth. Once minute you’re eating and the next there’s a sharp pain caused by the sudden exposure of the nerves inside the tooth. If you’re eating something hot or cold, the pain can be quite severe. However, it is possible to crack a tooth and not realise it, which is why you need to check your teeth regularly for problems.
Cracking a tooth can cause other damage as well, such as lacerations and wounds to the gums or lips. These problems can also worsen over time, which is why it’s so important that you see your emergency dentist as soon as possible to discuss your treatment options.
What to Do if You Crack a Tooth
According to Dr. Oberoi, our Emergency Dentist in Sydney, “Cracked teeth can be saved most of the time.” However, it’s really important that you contact your dentist immediately and tell them what has happened. The longer you ignore the problem, the more likely it is that you will experience further issues. For example, cracked teeth are extremely prone to infection because the opening can allow bacteria into the vulnerable inner parts of the tooth. If this occurs, the tooth can die, which means that it has to be extracted.
As Dr. Oberoi says, “The whole idea is to be more proactive and get treatment as quickly as possible so the tooth can be saved.”
If you can’t get to a dentist right away, make sure you keep the area as clean as possible. Use a soft toothbrush to gently clean the cracked tooth and use bacteria killing mouthwash to further preserve your oral health.
Cracked Tooth Treatments
Once you do get to your dentist, they will be able to decide the best way to treat and save your tooth. This all depends on the severity of the damage. Some of the treatment options are as follows:
If the chip is small, a filling or bonding material can be used to fill in the missing section.
A dental crown can be used to cover a larger break as long as part of the tooth remains intact.
If the break goes down into the pulp then a root canal or extraction may be the best option.
The longer you leave a cracked tooth, the more likely it is that the damage will get worse and result in a tooth extraction. So make sure you visit your dentist as soon as possible after the injury.