It is often assumed that a dental emergency would be an obvious situation; however, that is not always the case. A knocked-out tooth requires immediate attention, and most people are quick to get to the dentist or emergency room. Yet if a less acute emergency occurs, such as a cracked tooth, it often goes undetected and untreated because people do not recognize the signs.
A cracked tooth is a dental emergency, yet many people are unaware that they even have a cracked tooth until they go to the dentist and a professional points it out. If you can identify signs that you have a cracked tooth in advance, you can avoid many serious consequences that result from having one.
Why Cracked Teeth Should be Treated Quickly
A cracked tooth is considered to be a dental emergency because of how vulnerable it leaves the tooth. A crack in a tooth allows the tooth to open and close, allowing bacteria and tiny food particles to enter in to the inner layers of the tooth. If bacteria or debris enter the tooth, the tooth can become infected from the inside out. An infected tooth is incredibly painful, and it can lead to neighboring teeth and gum tissues becoming infected.
Many people crack a tooth immediately when they bite down on a hard piece of candy, piece of ice, or even by biting their fingernails. This immediate crack is typically painful, letting you know that you need to visit your dentist as quickly as possible. However, other signs of a cracked tooth are not as obvious.
Signs you have a cracked tooth include:
- Intense pain in a tooth
- Pain while chewing – pain occurs when you bite down and put pressure on the tooth, yet the pain is relieved when you separate the teeth and the pressure is taken off
- Tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet, and sour
- A chipped tooth
- A visible line in a tooth
- Discoloration of a single tooth
If you have any signs of a cracked tooth, please contact Gastonia Family Dentistry today for an appointment. We are here for your dental care needs, and your comfort is our priority.