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Cracked tooth symptoms are not always a dental emergency. The enamel layer on your teeth is so strong that it can usually withstand small cracks and chips without causing a problem. But if your bite feels uneven, the front teeth look misshapen, or you are in pain, it’s best to see an emergency dentist who can check it out. Take a look at some of the signs and symptoms that may be considered dental emergencies and require a professional opinion from a dentist sooner rather than later. 


What Causes Cracked Teeth?

Several issues can cause cracked teeth. Trauma, decay, bruxism, and improper dental care can cause tooth enamel to crack. Chewing on something hard such as ice, a candy bar or a pen top, can also cause a crack or fracture. Even if you have no symptoms, a cracked tooth can be a dental emergency if the damage is extensive. 


Cracked Tooth Symptoms That May Be A Dental Emergency

Most cracked teeth are not dental emergencies. In the absence of any symptoms or if the crack is not visible, a visit to the dentist can be delayed for a few days. However, a cracked tooth can cause extreme sensitivity or pain, as well as tenderness, swelling, and discolouration, although this may not be straight away, particularly if decay has caused the damage. Some of the scenarios where you should treat it as a dental emergency include: 




Signs of an infection, such as a sore throat, fever, or swelling around the tooth, could indicate that a cracked tooth has allowed bacteria into the soft pulp chamber of the tooth. You should see an emergency dentist as soon as possible as infection can spread to other areas of the body—even the brain. 


Aching tooth

Cracked tooth symptoms, such as aching or throbbing sensations, can potentially be a dental emergency. Toothache and throbbing can occur when a tooth crack exposes the pulp in the centre of the tooth, where the nerves are located. Nerves are sensitive to temperature and can quickly become irritated by food and drink, causing aching and pain. 


Pain when chewing

Pain when chewing indicates something is wrong and could be a dental emergency. If you have a cracked tooth, biting down may cause enough pressure to open the crack, exposing the pulp tissue containing the nerve in the centre of the tooth. 


Increased sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures

Generally, sensitive teeth are not considered to be dental emergencies. But, if you don’t usually suffer from sensitivity and the symptoms have developed suddenly, it could indicate that your tooth is cracked and has exposed the nerve, which is sensitive to hot and cold. If the pain is mild, you can probably take some painkillers and arrange a regular appointment with the dentist, but if the pain is severe, you should see an emergency dentist as soon as possible. 


Gum swelling

Signs of dental emergencies include swollen gums. Any swelling in the gum line is likely to be an infection that can put the tooth at risk of falling out or even spread to other parts of the body if not treated quickly—so a trip to an emergency dentist is crucial to nip any infection in the bud. 


emergency treatment cracked teeth brighton le sandsThe crack is visible

If you have a visibly cracked tooth, it may well be regarded as a dental emergency -particularly if you have other symptoms.

A severely cracked tooth can soon split open with the regular forces exerted on it from biting and chewing. 


What Treatments Are Used for a Cracked Tooth?

The treatment for cracked teeth depends on where the crack is, its size, whether it extends to the gum line, and your symptoms. If a dentist sees you as a dental emergency, it is likely that you will be given treatment to make you comfortable but will have to return to repair the crack in the future or to have the tooth extracted. Tooth cracks can be repaired with crowns, dental bonding and root canal therapy. 


The Takeaway

If you are experiencing cracked tooth symptoms, get in touch with our team so we can determine if you require dental treatment. We can assess whether your symptoms are a dental emergency, or we can arrange an appointment at a more convenient time if they are not too severe. Why not schedule a consultation with Bright-on-Bay Dental today to put your mind at rest. Call on (02) 9538 7028 or use our online booking service





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