Cracked teeth can be a serious dental emergency if left untreated. While some cracks may not require immediate treatment, others can be a serious health and dental concern. To determine when a cracked tooth is a dental emergency, it is important to understand the types of cracks and the potential consequences of not seeking treatment.

Signs Your Cracked Tooth Should Be Considered an Emergency

The most common type of cracked tooth is a stress fracture, which is typically caused by biting down on something hard or grinding your teeth. These cracks are usually superficial and may not require immediate treatment. However, they can lead to more serious problems if left untreated, such as increased sensitivity or infection.

Another type of cracked tooth is a vertical root fracture, which is caused by a traumatic event like a fall or a blow to the mouth. These cracks can be more serious and may require immediate attention. If left untreated, a vertical root fracture can cause severe pain and infection, as well as long-term damage to the tooth and surrounding teeth.

Finally, a crack that extends into the nerve of the tooth is considered a dental emergency. This type of crack can cause intense pain and sensitivity and can also lead to infection if not treated quickly. A cracked tooth that extends into the nerve requires immediate attention from a dentist in order to prevent serious complications.

What to Do Immediately If a Tooth Has Cracked

If you’ve cracked a tooth, don’t panic. While you certainly need to visit a dentist for it, there are steps you can take to relieve the pain and protect your tooth until you can see one.

Here’s what you should do immediately if you’ve cracked a tooth:

1. Rinse Your Mouth with Warm Water

Rinsing with lukewarm water can help reduce the size of a sore and get rid of any food or other particles that might be stuck in the crack of the sore. It can also help to clean the area and reduce the risk of infection.

2. Apply a Cold Compress

Putting an ice pack on the injured area may help to decrease discomfort and puffiness.

3. Take an Over-The-Counter Pain Reliever

If you are experiencing a lot of pain, consider taking an over-the-counter pain reliever. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help to reduce pain.

4. Avoid Chewing on the Affected Side

Chewing on the side of the tooth with the crack can cause further damage and pain. Avoiding hard or crunchy foods on the affected side can also help to reduce pain and protect the tooth.

5. Use Dental Wax

Dental wax can help to protect the cracked tooth from further damage. Simply apply the wax directly to the tooth, and it will provide a protective barrier. If you don’t have any, it’s alright. Just be extra careful.

6. See Your Dentist as Soon as Possible

Seeing your dentist as soon as possible is the best way to ensure that the cracked tooth is properly treated and that your oral health is not compromised. Your dentist will be able to assess the damage and determine the best course of action.


Overall, if you notice the signs that your cracked tooth counts as an emergency, it is vital to book an appointment as soon as possible for treatment. And also, to help your life be a little more comfortable, follow the tips we’ve shared to immediately address the cracked tooth. That way, you can prevent further damage and pain until you can have a dentist work on it for you.

Dental First is a top-rated dental clinic in Troy, offering quality, comfortable, and comprehensive care for all that want to achieve great oral health. If you are looking for an emergency dental clinic, reach out to us today.