Why You Shouldn't Ignore a Cracked Tooth

Why You Shouldn't Ignore a Cracked Tooth

You bite down on a hard candy or take a spill and now have a crack in one of your teeth. Perhaps it’s a small crack and not painful. Does it really need treatment? Almost always, the answer is yes. And you’ll want to see your dentist sooner rather than later.

Our experienced team of dentists at Swinney Dental in Tyler, Texas, provides diagnostics and treatment for cracked teeth of all severities. Read on to learn why ignoring a crack isn’t wise, including complications you can avoid by being proactive.

Pain and sensitivity

The inside of your tooth is known as the pulp, a soft tissue that contains blood vessels and nerves. When the outer part of a tooth cracks, chewing causes movement that can irritate the sensitive pulp. For that reason, ignoring a cracked tooth can lead to pain and sensitivity when you chew. 

You can also experience sensitivity to extreme temperatures. Cold and hot foods and drinks and even breathing in cold air can irritate the pulp. Eventually, tooth pain and sensitivity can become constant.

Infections, tooth loss, and root canals

The longer you leave a cracked tooth unaddressed, the more distressed the pulp becomes. At first, the pulp can repair itself. Over time, however, the damage becomes permanent. 

Even a small crack can become larger over time. That is problematic, given that extensive cracks make way for infections that have the potential to spread to your jawbone and gums. Once the pulp is infected, you’ll need most extensive treatment, such as:

By the time a root canal is needed, many people are so relieved to end the throbbing pain from the infection and damage that they’re eager for the treatment. Thankfully, the root canal process isn’t painful, and relief tends to follow quickly. 

Treatment for a cracked tooth varies, depending on factors such as the severity of the crack and any related symptoms. For smaller cracks, you may only need a filling, crown, or dental bonding. For severe cases involving infection down the line, we may recommend replacing the entire tooth with a dental implant.

Get the treatment you need today

When it comes to cracked teeth, don’t wait and hope it gets better. Untreated, the situation only gets worse.

To learn more about cracked tooth treatments or get started with the care you need, call our helpful staff at Swinney Dental or schedule an appointment using our convenient online booking feature. 

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