You’ve done it a thousand times before, but this time you bite into an uncooked popcorn kernel. Within seconds, your hand goes to your cheek as you feel a surge of pain in your mouth. A quick trip to the mirror confirms your initial suspicion: you’ve cracked a tooth. If you’ve experienced something like this before, then you know that you can barely think straight until you get fast, effective relief. The experts at Maz Endodontics are here to share what to do if you find yourself with a cracked tooth.
Types of Cracked Teeth
Did you know there are # different types of cracked teeth? While the symptoms may present the same, they actually can look quite different. Understanding the different types of cracked teeth can be incredibly helpful in deciding if you need to schedule an emergency visit to the dentist or not. Before rushing to the dentist, look for:
- Craze lines- Known for its super small cracks on the outer layer of your tooth, this type of cracked tooth may go completely unnoticed. For some, there are no symptoms, and no treatment is necessary.
- Fractured cusp- This is another category of cracked teeth that can rarely exhibit pain. However, this type of crack generally occurs around a dental filling.
- Cracks that extend to the gum line- Its category says it all. This type of crack vertically extends to the gum line. It can either be saved or extracted depending on the severity.
- Split tooth- If the crack separates your tooth into two segments, it may be a split tooth. Although the entire tooth may not be able to be saved, your dentist may be able to save a portion of it for repair.
- Vertical root fracture- Although it starts below the gum line, this crack can be virtually painless. However, it can also become infected, so it must be caught early on to avoid needing an extraction.
So, What Should I Do If I Crack a Tooth?
If you are experiencing pain, swelling, or any other abnormal symptoms stemming from your cracked tooth, it is essential to give your dentist a call. Even if your dental issue occurs outside office hours, they may have an emergency line or detailed instructions on what to do in your position. From there, you can:
- Schedule a visit with your dentist- Depending on the urgency, it may be the same day or later in the week. Although it can be challenging to wait, dentists are the only professionals who can practice dentistry. So if you want the root of the issue to be solved, your dentist needs to be involved.
- Rinse with salt and water- This at-home remedy is both convenient and effective. Dissolve some salt in a cup of warm water and rinse in your mouth for 30 seconds at a time. The solution can reduce swelling, prevent infection, and provide some pain relief.
- Avoid bad dental habits- Poor dental habits, like nail-biting and smoking, can wreak havoc on healthy teeth. So imagine what they do to unhealthy ones! To prevent the cracked tooth from becoming infected or sustaining further damage, avoid bad dental habits.
- Follow your dentist’s recommendations- Once you are in their chair, they will be able to conduct a thorough dental exam. From there, they will recommend bonding, a crown, a root canal, or an extraction. Although it can be a bit anxiety-inducing knowing you have to undergo a procedure, it is better for you and your teeth in the long run.
If you or a loved one experiences a cracked tooth, it is important not to panic. To get fast, effective relief, contact the experts at Maz Endodontics.