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What To Do When You Chip Or Crack A Tooth

A fractured or cracked tooth can occur for a number of reasons. Whether it is a cavity that has hollowed out a tooth, biting into hard foods, teeth grinding, or a sports accident, if left untreated a cracked or chipped tooth will not repair itself and further damage can occur. Seeking dental treatment immediately is advised after you notice a change in the shape of your tooth so a professional can determine the extent of the damage and the best method of treatment as quickly as possible to prevent further complications. Broken teeth are considered dental emergencies and should be handled accordingly. 

At Dental365, our dentists are trained to recognize even small cracks or chips in your teeth so they can be corrected as soon as possible and prevent further damage to your oral health.

What Part of the Tooth Can Crack?

The crown (the visible section) and the root (the section underneath the gums) consist of three main layers.

  • Enamel: Hard white outer surface
  • Dentin: Middle layer of the tooth
  • Pulp: Soft inner tissue containing blood vessels and nerves

It is possible in extreme cases for a tooth fracture to affect all of these layers which is why a dentist’s capabilities to diagnose and create a treatment plan are necessary. The severity of the fracture will determine the method of treatment.

Symptoms Of A Cracked Tooth

On occasion, patients may not feel any symptoms of cracked or chipped teeth. Some patients only become aware that they have a tooth crack or chip because it is visible and may appear unsightly or make patients feel self-conscious. Common symptoms you might feel after you crack a tooth may include:

  • Sensitivity to temperature changes or eating sweet foods
  • Swelling around the tooth
  • Toothache when biting or chewing
  • Throbbing pain

What To Do Immediately After Cracking A Tooth

If you notice that you have a cracked tooth, the first thing you will want to do is rinse gently with saltwater or diluted hydrogen peroxide. This can help disinfect the tooth and gums around it. Preventing infection is crucial in order to ensure the damage doesn’t worsen. If there is any pain or swelling you can also apply ice to the outside of the mouth. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen or Advil can also help to reduce pain and swelling. 

At home treatment can help to manage symptoms but seeking out emergency dental treatment will fix the root of the issue. In the event you have a cracked tooth, call and schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

Preventing Cracked Teeth

Knowing the causes of cracked teeth can help to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Avoid chewing on hard foods or ice and practice routine dental care at home to keep your teeth strong and resistant to damage. If you are involved in sports or grind your teeth at night wearing a mouth guard can help prevent damage as well. If you have any unique circumstances, you can speak to your dentists about protecting against chipping teeth. Dental solutions may be available that you were unaware of.

In addition to practicing dental care at home, regular dental visits and cleanings will give your dentist the opportunity to notice any chips while they are small so that they can be treated preemptively. If your dentist does notice a small chip or crack in your teeth, they can recommend a method of treatment that will save you time and money in the long run.

What Treatment Can Fix Broken or Cracked Teeth

The treatment you receive will vary depending on the severity of your cracked tooth. 

The most common types of treatment include:

  • Dental Crowns
  • Dental Bonding
  • Veneers
  • Root Canal Treatment
  • Cosmetic Contouring
  • Extraction

Is Damage To The Tooth Permanent?

If treatment is prompt, repairs to compromised teeth can last for years without further complications. With regular dental appointments, your dentist will be able to notice if cracking or splitting gets any worse over time.

Contact Our Emergency Dental Services

For your convenience, our offices provide weekend and evening hours, and accept walk-ins and offer affordable care and financing options for broken tooth repair and other similar emergency dental services. If you are experiencing a cracked or chipped tooth call Dental365 to schedule your emergency dental appointment!


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