When left untreated, a cracked tooth can result in serious complications. In general, a dental professional recommends having this tooth repaired as soon as possible to ensure it doesn’t turn into an emergency situation. This can happen when your symptoms get worse and result in other complications.
What Happens if a Cracked Tooth is Not Repaired Right Away
Leaving a cracked tooth unrepaired for a long time can lead to serious pain and sensitivity, oral infection, as well as gum tenderness and swelling. In addition, there is a risk of tooth loss, and your treatment plan may be more invasive when you wait longer than you should.
- Serious pain and sensitivity. A minor chip can cause minor and tolerable discomfort. But the longer your cracked tooth stays unrepaired, the worse the pain and sensitivity you experience. As a result, you may not be able to function properly throughout the day or sleep at night.
- Gum tenderness and swelling. A cracked tooth can cause gum swelling and tenderness as bacteria accumulate around your affected tooth, damaging it and your gums. Also, these gum complications can also mean you have an oral infection.
- Oral infection. When your tooth cracks, the underlying tooth layers may be exposed. When bacteria are trapped in such open areas, you can suffer from a tooth infection. This infection can result in increased discomfort. Also, it can spread and impact other parts of your mouth and body.
- Tooth loss. You will eventually lose a cracked tooth when its root has significantly lost the strength to support it. Sometimes, the cracked tooth can sustain irreversible damage and requires extraction or replacement.
- More Invasive and expensive treatment. A worsened cracked tooth can require root canal therapy to save it and treat a dental abscess. This is more invasive than a treatment for a minor tooth crack. If you lose the tooth and require extraction or replacement, the cost of the entire treatment process significantly increases.
How to Know You Need a Treatment for a Cracked Tooth
Whenever one of your teeth cracks, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. You should do this no matter the seriousness of your symptoms. But some symptoms may require a more urgent visit to a dentist. Particularly, you need urgent dental care if you suffer from symptoms such as gum swelling, tooth pain, bleeding gums, loose teeth, and tooth sensitivity. Also, the cause of the crack must be assessed. A tooth can crack accidentally or beaches of poor oral hygiene. Knowing the cause may help you avoid having another cracked tooth in the future.