What Should You Do About A Cracked Tooth?

A cracked tooth can start as a tiny fracture and grow into something much worse. Unfortunately, when some of the symptoms appear, it could be after your dentist's office has closed for the day. If you believe you have a cracked tooth, here is what you need to know.  

What Causes a Cracked Tooth? 

There are several reasons that your tooth could crack, including trauma. For instance, if you fell and hit your mouth on a hard surface, a crack could develop. A crack could also occur if there is a breakdown in the enamel of your teeth or if the pulp within it is swelling.  

If you have a habit of grinding your teeth, a fracture that worsens to a crack could develop. Since grinding is usually an unconscious habit, many folks do not realize it until after they start to suffer symptoms.   

The symptoms of a cracked tooth can include unexplained pain when you eat, increased tooth sensitivity, and a mild fever. Some people can experience severe headaches and a throbbing sensation in the gums around the tooth.

What Can You Do? 

If you notice the cracked tooth after the dentist's office is closed, there are some home remedies you can use to potentially ease the pain until you are able to get dental care. One of the most effective remedies is gargling and rinsing with salt water. The salt water can help to ease some of the soreness you are feeling and help to keep swelling to a minimum.  

You can also try baking soda to alleviate the pain. Saliva in the mouth is necessary for the remineralizing of enamel in the mouth.. Baking soda helps to increase the pH levels in the saliva. By applying a cotton ball that has baking soda on it over the tooth that is cracked, you could potentially alleviate the pain you are experiencing.  

Hydrogen peroxide can even help with pain relief. Hydrogen peroxide mixed with equal parts water can serve as a disinfectant. Gargling and rinsing with the mixture will also help reduce swelling.  

If the pain persists, call your dentist. Chances are, he or she has emergency hours that will allow you to get treatment after hours. If you do wait it out, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to avoid additional pain and other consequences that can result from the tooth's condition. For more information, or if you need treatment, contact a local emergency dentistry clinic.