There are many ways you can crack a tooth, from sports injuries to habitual teeth grinding or even natural aging. Whether your tooth is severely cracked and causing you pain or you have a minor dental crack with no other symptoms, it is important to get a cracked tooth treated right away. Read on to learn why cracked teeth need to be treated as soon as possible.
Risk of Infection
The biggest risk that comes with ignoring a cracked tooth is the likelihood of developing an infection. A dental crack provides an opening where bacteria can enter and spread down your tooth into the root. An oral infection can cause an abscess—or painful, fluid-filled sac—to form at the root of your tooth or on your gum. The infection can also enter your bloodstream and spread to other parts of your body, which can cause serious, potentially life-threatening complications like sepsis.
A cracked tooth can also lead to gum disease if left untreated. This is again due to bacteria entering the dental crack and infecting the tooth and gum tissue. When gum disease progresses, it can lead to bad breath, heightened tooth sensitivity, tooth loss, and overall health issues including heart and lung disease.
Minor Cracks Can Get Worse
What starts as a small dental crack can grow thanks to the force exerted when you chew. When a dental crack extends down the tooth below the gum line, your gum tissue can get damaged and more of your sensitive pulp will be exposed, which can cause severe pain with biting and chewing. Additionally, cracks that extend below the gum line require more advanced treatment, such as a root canal followed by a crown placement. In some cases, a severely cracked tooth might actually need to be extracted if it is beyond repair. If you treat a minor crack before it gets worse, on the other hand, you would probably only require dental bonding or veneer placement. Call our office today to talk about treating your cracked tooth.