When you’re experiencing tooth pain, it’s hard to know how soon to contact your dentist. Do you need to see a dentist after office hours? Can it wait till morning? Or even until next week? Read on to learn why you should never ignore cracked tooth pain, and find out what steps to take if you suspect a cracked tooth.
Symptoms of Cracked Teeth
A cracked tooth can occur from injury or general wear and tear caused by grinding or clenching your teeth. While cracked teeth are not completely preventable, you can take some steps to make your teeth less susceptible to cracks by not chewing on hard objects such as ice, unpopped popcorn kernels, or pens. You can also use protective mouth wear like a mouthguard to mitigate the damage teeth grinding can cause.
The biggest indicator of a cracked tooth is experiencing tooth pain while eating or chewing. That’s because the crack exposes the inside of the tooth that has very small fluid filled tubes leading to the nerve, or pulp, of the tooth. The chewing motion opens the crack and causes movement of the fluid within the tubes. When you let the biting pressure off, the crack closes and the fluid pressure stimulates the nerve and causes pain.
While the symptoms of a cracked tooth will vary depending on the type of tooth fracture, below are a few of the most common signs of this disorder:
- Sharp pain when biting down in a certain area
- Pain that eases when the pressure has been removed
- Localized sensitivity to temperatures, sticky foods, or sugary foods
- You remember biting down on something hard or thinking you heard a crack even if you can’t visibly see one
Cracked teeth account for the majority of dental injuries, and most can be repaired either by reattaching the broken piece of tooth enamel or by bonding a tooth-colored filling or crown in place, but treatment should be sought as quickly as possible. Contact our office at Endodontic Specialists of Colorado as soon as possible after the injury to treat your chipped tooth and to keep it from worsening.
What To Do For Cracked Tooth Pain
If you suspect a cracked tooth, it’s important to contact your dentist to schedule a visit as soon as possible. If left untreated, the crack could reach the pulp of the tooth and allow bacteria to enter, creating a perfect environment for an infection and inflammation.
An untreated cracked tooth can result in the death of the tooth nerve, known as pulpal necrosis, and tooth abscess, which requires root canal treatment. In severe cases, the crack can cause the tooth to split in two, reducing the chances to save the natural tooth and usually resulting in tooth extraction
In light of the ongoing pandemic, some patients might feel nervous about seeking dental treatment for cracked tooth pain, or even just for routine cleanings and exams. Rest assured that seeing a dentist for routine, oral healthcare or a specialist, such as one of our endodontists here at Endodontic Specialists of Colorado, for dental emergencies or complex treatments is safe.
In fact, according to a study from the American Dental Association Science & Research Institute and Health Policy Institute, the COVID-19 infection rate among dentists remains lower than other health professionals. Our offices in Pueblo and Colorado Springs are strictly adhering to CDC, American Dental Association (ADA) and AAE guidelines to ensure patient safety, health and well-being.
No one should have to live with tooth pain. That’s why our team here at Endodontic Specialists of Colorado makes it our mission to restore our patients’ smiles and save their natural teeth. Learn how we can help give you a beautiful, healthy smile by contacting us today!