You’re eating your favorite hard candy, crunching away and enjoying its flavor when you realize there’s something hard in your mouth that won’t dissolve like the rest of the snack. That’s when you recognize that it’s not a piece of candy at all, it’s a piece of your chipped or broken tooth. Sometimes, these more serious dental issues can start off with a simple toothache. Keep reading to learn what a chipped or broken tooth feels like, what can cause tooth pain, and what you should do to alleviate your pain at home if you can’t see a dentist right away.
What Are the Symptoms of a Cracked or Chipped Tooth?
Not every tooth injury will produce symptoms, but here are some common signs of chipped or cracked teeth:
- You can experience pain when chewing or biting, especially when you release the bite.
- Your tooth is sensitive to heat, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and drinks.
- You could feel pain that comes and goes but is not constant.
- Your gums can swell around the affected tooth.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your emergency dentist for an appointment as soon as possible.
What Can Cause Tooth Aches and Cracked Teeth?
Your teeth can start aching and cracking for a variety of reasons. Some of the widespread causes are:
- Pressure from clenching or grinding teeth
- Fillings large enough to weaken the integrity of the tooth
- Chewing or biting hard or sticky foods like ice
- Impact to the face or mouth
- Abrupt changes of temperature in the mouth
There are many more causes of tooth pain, but these are the most common that can result in chipping or cracking.
How Can I Care for My Chipped or Cracked Tooth?
If your tooth is chipped, cracked, or you’re experiencing a painful toothache, see your dentist immediately to make sure it doesn’t get worse. In the meantime, here’s some self-care measures you can take while you wait to go to the dentist:
- If you’re experiencing pain, take acetaminophen or another pain reliever and rinse your mouth out with salt water to reduce dental bacteria.
- If your tooth’s chip has caused a sharp or jagged edge, cover it with a piece of sugarless gum or wax to keep it from cutting your tongue or inside of your cheek.
- If you have to eat, consume soft foods and avoid biting down on the affected area.
Your next step is to visit the dentist. Treatment will vary based on how serious your tooth pain or injury is. Next time a dental disaster strikes, you’ll at least know what to look for and what to do to make sure your mouth stays as healthy as possible.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Frank Michitti takes pride in caring for his patients to meet their specific needs. He used to have dental issues of his own, so he has a lot of empathy for his patients coming in with tooth pain. He has completed over 1,000 hours of continuing education courses to stay up-to-date on all the latest practices in dentistry. He can be contacted through his website or by phone at (413) 786-4400 for any questions.