How to Handle a Cracked Tooth

No one wants to deal with a broken tooth, but things happen. Molars can crack because they bear most of the impact of chewing, while teeth at the front are usually the ones to get chipped. You can crack or chip any of your teeth with varying degrees of severity. If you believe you’ve cracked a tooth, how should it be handled?

Symptoms of Cracked Teeth

The first step is to identify any symptoms. If you feel pain while chewing or an increased sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, you might have a cracked tooth. Inflamed gums around the affected area are also common. It’s important to pay attention to these signs because some cracks are so small, they can’t be seen. We will need to know where your discomfort is located to figure out where the crack is and what the best treatment is.

What to Do

A cracked tooth requires emergency dental care, so you should contact us at Red Oak Family Dentistry as soon as possible. Ignoring the crack can result in more problems, including infections. Cracked teeth don’t get better on their own.

While you’re waiting to see us, there are some things you can do. To keep your mouth clean, rinse with warm water. If you’re experiencing swelling, a cold compress can help. For pain, take a pain medication like ibuprofen.


Treatments vary depending on how severe the crack is. Fillings or dental crowns can cover cracks and protect the tooth from further damage. If the crack is going into the pulp of your tooth, it’s likely we’ll need to perform a root canal and then put on a crown. The worst case scenario is when the crack goes below the gum line. At this point, we need to extract the tooth. This is why it’s so important to come in as soon as you suspect you have a cracked tooth, so it doesn’t spread and become untreatable except for extraction.

Think You Might Have a Cracked Tooth?

If you think you might have damaged your tooth, please contact us for an emergency appointment. If you’re anxious about dealing with a cracked tooth, Dr. Do offers nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to make your appointment as comfortable and relaxed as possible!

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