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cracked tooth symptoms northmead

Cracked teeth are a relatively common dental problem. In most circumstances, they’re not considered dental emergencies. But, a severely cracked tooth can be painful and debilitating, affecting eating, drinking, or speaking ability. This may indicate that you should see an emergency dentist, to determine if any serious damage has been caused. So, what are the cracked tooth symptoms that might constitute a dental emergency? Let’s take a look.


How do cracked teeth occur?

Several factors can cause cracked teeth—trauma or accident to the face, biting down too hard, tooth decay, and even grinding your teeth at night (bruxism). Dental emergencies are not always obvious—and a cracked tooth may fall into this category because there may be no pain or discomfort. However, in the case of a severely cracked tooth, you will likely exhibit some common symptoms. 



Common Cracked Tooth Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of a cracked tooth are as follows. 


Visible cracks

Although it sounds obvious, it is not always easy to identify a cracked tooth. Just because you cannot see a crack does not mean it doesn’t exist. In the back of the mouth, it is not always easy to see the back of the teeth, but quite often, you may be able to feel a crack with your tongue or finger. 

Use a mirror or take a photo to determine how large the crack is so you can judge whether to see an emergency dentist or whether you can hold on for a regular appointment. Your course of action may well be determined by whether you have any other symptoms. 


Aching tooth

A cracked tooth can sometimes cause an aching or throbbing sensation. This is because the crack may have exposed the dental pulp—the soft centre of the tooth where the nerve resides. This can become irritated by food, drink, and temperature, triggering pain.

If you have a throbbing or aching pain that progressively worsens, you should contact your dentist at the earliest opportunity. Prolonged or progressive tooth discomfort is a dental emergency that needs dealing with sooner rather than later. 


Pain when biting

Pain while biting could be a symptom of a cracked tooth. Any pressure placed on a cracked tooth may cause the crack to worsen. More open cracks can expose the pulp tissue inside the tooth containing the nerve. 

Erratic pain when chewing may also indicate pressure being released when biting. An emergency dentist could be the best option to alleviate your pain and fix your tooth. 


Increased sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures

Many people have sensitive teeth, so these signs are not usually dental emergencies. However, if sudden sensitivity develops, it may be one of many emergency cracked tooth symptoms. This is because a crack may expose the tooth root where the nerves are primarily located. If your sensitivity is particularly severe, you should see an emergency dentist soonest. 


Swollen Gums

treatment for crack teeth northmeadCracked teeth can cause other complications, such as gum swelling. This is typically a sign of an infection that should be treated as a dental emergency because if not treated, the infection can spread to other parts of the body, in addition to putting the tooth at risk of falling out.

It’s sometimes hard to judge what dental emergencies are but if you suddenly develop any unexplained symptoms that are painful and debilitating, be sure to contact a dentist as soon as you can. 


The Bottom Line

Cracked teeth symptoms may be a dental emergency. To know for sure, Get in touch with our friendly team by calling us on (02) 9630 9996 who can advise you on what to do next. 





WebMD: Dental Health and Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Mayo Clinic: Tooth Abscess