Bad dental habits, such as chewing on ice and using the teeth as tools, can result in cracked teeth. The crack can cause great discomfort, especially when there’s a damaged nerve or blood vessel. Cracked teeth become quite sensitive to changes in temperature and they can hurt a lot as well.
Is a Cracked Tooth an Emergency?
If your tooth is always hurting or if it has broken due to a crack, the best thing to do is to head straight to the dentist’s office to have it treated. However, an appointment with the dentist is not always easy to make, so you need to carry out first aid prior to your visit to the clinic. A Laurel, MD dentist recommends the following:
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water.
- If there’s any bleeding, use a piece of gauze and apply it the bleeding area for 10 minutes. Make sure you put pressure on the gauze to stop the bleeding. If this doesn’t work, replace the gauze with a tea bag.
- Use a cold compress on your broken tooth to relieve pain and swelling.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever if the compress doesn’t diminish the pain.
- If you can’t go to the dentist anytime soon, it will help to apply temporary dental cement to cover the part of the tooth that’s been chipped off. Dental cement can be purchased from a drugstore and it comes with instructions on how to prepare and use it.
When you do finally meet with the dentist, the following treatments may be used for your cracked tooth:
Cracks on teeth get treated like cavities in order to prevent further damage.
This may be necessary if the pulp (meaning the nerve and other tissue) is damaged. The root canal procedure will get rid of the pulp to prevent infection and pain. A root canal is also a must if the tooth has split vertically into two separate parts.
Like a filling, a crown will prevent the crack from getting worse. A crown is applied to teeth that have split into two or have broken deep enough to expose the nerve.
A simple polish is all a dentist normally does if the crack is just on the surface of the tooth, or the enamel. Polishing will get rid of unevenness on the tooth’s surface.
Extraction is for broken or split teeth with roots that can no longer be saved.
A cracked tooth requires the immediate attention of a dental professional so don’t delay in setting up an appointment for treatment with your local Laurel, MD dentist.