What to Do if You Have a Cracked Tooth
Teeth are designed to last a lifetime. The hard outside surface of the tooth is made of dental enamel, which is known as the hardest substance in the human body. Beneath the enamel is the dentin that contains chambers, called root canals. The pulp of the tooth is inside the root canals and contains nerves, blood vessels and other soft tissues. When a tooth is cracked, the pieces of the tooth can move when you bite or chew. This irritates the pulp inside the tooth and can cause sensitivity or even pain. Over time, the pulp may hurt constantly, and it can even become infected.
Your tooth can become cracked as a result of a direct blow, a fall, teeth grinding or biting and chewing hard food or substances. If you suspect that you have a cracked tooth, you need prompt dental treatment. You cannot treat a cracked tooth at home, but rinsing with warm salt water can help decrease inflammation and over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can ease discomfort. You may also need a cool compress to reduce any swelling.
Once you arrive at our office, we will evaluate the extent of the damage and develop a treatment plan for the painful tooth. You may need a root canal treatment to remove the infected tissues from the root canals. A porcelain crown may also be needed to hold the parts of the tooth together and prevent further damage. Minor cracks and chips may be able to be treated with fillings or other restorations. Call us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment with our emergency dental team.
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