Don’t Underestimate the Severity of a Tooth Injury
Our teeth are strong but they are not indestructible! There are many things that can lead to chipping or cracking, such as biting down on something hard. But after years of wear and tear on our teeth, sometimes even soft foods can lead to the breaking point. When this happens, treatment needs to take place sooner rather than later. When there is injury to a tooth, a dentist needs to evaluate it to help protect it from additional harm. A crack could run deeper than you think—making your tooth more susceptible to further damage. When treated quickly, you reduce the chances of situations that can lead to infection, discoloration, or need for additional treatment.
The nerves are protected by dentin and enamel, but if exposed due to damage then food and bacteria increase the risk of infection. If a chip or crack is deep, the nerve that rests in the center of the tooth can become infected and die, eventually leading to the need for a root canal. Some people feel that if there is no current pain involved then the treatment can be postponed. Unfortunately, by the time the damaged tooth starts to hurt, infection has typically set in and the tooth may not be able to be saved.
Not Sure? Contact Your Dentist
Dr. James Reisman and Dr. Jordana Contrucci suggest that if a broken or cracked tooth is jagged, bleeding or causing pain, contact your dentist right away. Salt water rinses and over-the-counter pain medication may help with discomfort in the meantime. When in doubt, contact your dental office and inform them of the situation. They can help you schedule an appointment for an evaluation and consult you on a strategy to minimize your pain and the damage done to your teeth. At C R Dental Group, we offer all restorative treatment options to repair your smile and restore your oral health.