Dentist preparing to drill central incisor preparing tooth for sealant placement

How Cracked and Chipped Teeth Affect your Oral Health

Chipped and cracked teeth are no fun to deal with. Fortunately, there are ways to treat and prevent dental problems and tooth decay from this type of damage. The most important factor is to get treatment as soon as possible. Even if you don’t have immediate pain, putting off treatment can create costly issues in the future. Here’s how cracked and chipped teeth affect your oral health.

A Chipped or Cracked Tooth Can Hurt

Pain in the gum or tooth area is the most obvious signal that you have damage from a crack or chip. The pain could come on just as you’re sinking your teeth into a juicy hamburger, or as you’re drinking your favorite hot beverage. Sensitivity to hot or icy cold food and drink, or tooth pain while eating sweets can both be a result of a cracked or chipped tooth. You may also experience red, swollen gums. If you have consistent pain or gum irritation, it may be triggered by a cracked tooth.

Deep Cracks in the Teeth Cause Nerve Damage

If the damage of a cracked tooth goes all the way to the root, there could be nerve damage. A broken tooth can leave the nerve exposed. Exposure to cool air and hot or cold liquids will cause gum sensitivity. The opposite effect can also occur where you don’t have any feeling in that area at all. You may also experience a tingling or burning sensation, or changes with your tastebuds. In severe cases, nerve damage will also reduce feeling in the jaw. Intense nerve damage or pain may require root canal therapy to repair.

Bacteria from Cracked Teeth Can Cause Bad Breath

If you don’t have a front tooth chip, there’s another embarrassing symptom that can arise. Halitosis, or what most know as bad breath, can surface from a tooth chip or crack. Good home hygiene and regular dental teeth cleaning work together to prevent germs in your mouth. This regimen is enough for a normal mouth, but with cracked teeth you might need to go the extra mile to ensure any food particles don’t get lodged in any of those cracks or chips.

Chips and cracked teeth or fillings leave room to absorb and trap food or bacteria. Without properly removing and preventing these traps, bad breath happens. That can put a halt to your public speaking, especially in close proximity, until further notice. If the problem persists, the growth of bacteria will continue causing bad breath and even worsen.

Oral Infection Can Occur When a Chipped Tooth Goes Untreated

The growth of bacteria near a cracked tooth will do more than cause foul-smelling breath. You could develop an oral infection that can lead to more severe problems. Bacteria can build under the gumline of the cracked tooth or absorb into the soft layer of the chipped tooth. This is when an abscess forms and a pocket of puss builds within the tooth root.

Without immediate treatment, the abscess can cause pain in the tooth, gums, ear, or neck. The infection can also spread internally to other parts of the body. Once the infection spreads, you may experience other health issues and it could even be fatal.

Leaving a Cracked Tooth Untreated Can Cause Tooth Decay

Somes cracks can heal or repair with proper dental care. Once you neglect treatment, that leaves room for bacteria to brew. Without a filling or crown, the tooth continues to be exposed and can develop cavities. Sweets, acidic foods, and food particles that get stuck in damaged areas of the tooth help tooth decay to form. The cavities will only get worse without seeing a dentist regularly.

Not Sure If you Have a Chipped or Cracked Tooth?

It’s not always easy to tell if a tooth has chipped or cracked. You could be a tooth grinder or have temporarily sensitive gums due to pregnancy. In that case, you may have some tooth discomfort that you haven’t linked to a previous dental injury.

The best thing to do is set an appointment with your Melbourne Florida dentist. Give descriptive details about your pain to help them identify the problem. That along with an exam and X-Ray will help them find the chip or crack and decide the best solution to fix it. Set an appointment right away to prevent these dental problems due to chipped, cracked teeth. Call us today online to see how we can help!