A cracked tooth happens to the best of people. A wayward popcorn kernel or a ball to the face, it doesn’t take much. And because a cracked tooth is not always broken off, many people ask us if a cracked tooth can heal itself or can be left untreated.
Unfortunately, no, a cracked tooth cannot heal itself. Unlike some bones in the body that have the ability to repair themselves over time, teeth do not have this ability.
When a tooth is cracked, the damage is permanent and will not heal on its own. The severity of the crack will determine the treatment needed, which may include a filling, crown, root canal, or extraction.
What to do about a cracked tooth?
If you suspect you have a cracked tooth, it is important to seek dental treatment as soon as possible to prevent further damage or infection. Dr. Wheatley will get you scheduled as soon as possible for an emergency appointment, where he can evaluate the extent of the crack and recommend the best course of action to protect your tooth and maintain your oral health.
If you have a cracked tooth, it is important to see your dentist as soon as possible for evaluation and treatment. But the following are some general steps that may help in the meantime:
- Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater: This can help reduce swelling and relieve pain. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water and swish the solution around your mouth for a few minutes.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers: If you are experiencing pain, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen as directed on the package.
- Avoid hard or crunchy foods: Eating hard or crunchy foods can make the pain worse and further damage the tooth. Stick to soft, easy-to-chew foods.
- Use dental wax: If the crack has sharp edges that are irritating your tongue or cheek, you can cover it with dental wax to protect the soft tissues in your mouth.
However, these steps are not a substitute for professional dental care. Only your dentist can determine the best course of action for a cracked tooth, which may include a filling, crown, root canal, or extraction. Treatment will depend on the location and severity of the crack, as well as other factors such as the age and overall health of the patient.
Call 405-857-6453 for an emergency appointment, or read more about our Emergency Dentistry Services.