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Can A Chipped Tooth Get Infected

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Recognizing A Broken Tooth Abscess

How will my cracked tooth be treated? – Dr. Arun Kumar T

When you have a broken tooth abscess, your symptoms may present as mild discomfort at first. If you know the tooth is already cracked tooth abscess, it is possible that an cracked tooth infection has started. Sometimes you need time to prepare for your broken tooth repair. An abscess can begin while you wait for treatment. You can also have cracks in teeth that are not very noticeable. You may not realize the tooth is damaged until you get an infected broken tooth. If you are experiencing tooth abscess symptoms, it may include some of the symptoms below:

  • Facial swelling or swelling in the gums
  • Pain
  • White spots

What Causes A Fractured Tooth

The most common causes of tooth fractures are:

  • Age, with many tooth cracks happening at age 50 and older.
  • Biting hard foods, such as candy, ice or popcorn kernels.
  • Habits, such as gum chewing, ice chewing.
  • Large dental fillings or a root canal, which weaken the tooth.
  • Trauma, including falls, sports injuries, bike accidents, car accidents or physical violence.

Reasons A Tooth Might Crack

A tooth can crack because of an injury. For example, if youre playing a contact sport and get hit in the mouth. You can also sustain a cracked tooth due to the general wear and tear on your teeth from everyday life. Maybe you like to crunch on hard objects like candy or ice. Teeth-grinding and jaw clenching are also hard on your teeth. Over time, these things can damage your tooth enamel and cause the tooth itself to crack.

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When To Worry About A Tooth Infection

If you suspect you have a dental abscess, dont wait until it ruptures to seek treatment. Dental infections should be treated promptly to prevent the spread of the infection.

Common symptoms of a dental infection that requires urgent dental care include:

  • Noticeable sore under the gums
  • Swelling and inflammation near the affected tooth
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Loose tooth
  • A severe, throbbing toothache that doesnt go away
  • Swollen and painful lymph nodes in the neck
  • Pain when chewing or biting down


Tooth abscesses are dental emergencies. They need to be drained by a professional quickly to prevent spreading. A noticeable sore and severe, throbbing pain are the most common symptoms.

How Long Can a Tooth Infection Go Untreated?

If you wait too long to treat a tooth infection, it can begin spreading to other areas of your body, including the neck, head, or jaw. A general dentist must professionally drain an abscessed tooth by extracting it or performing a root canal.

Usually, this includes draining pus and bacteria, which is why some people are actually unaware they have an infection. It is unpredictable to determine how long a dental abscess will drain until it stops and causes facial cellulitis .

You should never pop or squeeze an abscess because the infection can be pushed deeper into the tissues of your mouth.

Risks of not treating a tooth infection promptly:


Use The Cracked Tooth As Little As Possible

Dental Diagnostics

It is essential to protect the crack from worsening and extending toward the root of the tooth. If this were to concur, it could cause significant damage or an infection, resulting in the need for root canal therapy. Subsequently, it is important to use the tooth as little as possible. This should include chewing on the other side of the mouth and eating soft foods that do not require tearing or excessive chewing.

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Use A Saltwater Rinse To Keep The Mouth Clean

A salt water rinse is a simple yet effective way to keep the mouth sanitized and prevent an oral infection. Do a saltwater rinse several times a day. Rinse for approximately 30 seconds, ensuring to rinse thoroughly in the area of the cracked tooth. If any signs of infection are noticed, contact the dentist immediately.

Contact Our General Dentistry Team Today

There are options available to treat a chipped tooth promptly, preventing the concern from worsening and leading to an oral infection. If you have a chipped, cracked, or decayed tooth or a tooth that is damaged in another way, contact our dental team today to schedule a visit for restorative dentistry.

Request an appointment here: or call About Dental Care at for an appointment in our St. George office.

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What Is A Fractured Tooth

A fractured tooth, often called a cracked tooth or cracked tooth syndrome , is when a crack appears in your tooth. The crack can sometimes be small and harmless. Other times, it can cause your tooth to break or split.

Tooth fractures are most common in children and older people, although anybody can crack a tooth. If you suspect a broken tooth, see a dentist right away.

Its Possible To Have No Symptoms With A Tooth Infection

Infected Tooth Abscess Drained | Graphicâ ï¸?

Once bacteria are able to enter the inner chamber of a toothwhere nerves that supply blood and feeling to the tooth are housedthey typically cause an infection . The infection may cause the inner tissue of the tooth, and the tooth itself, to die. Once this has taken place, some people wont be able to feel the ongoing infection.

For others, their immune system does its best to fight the infection, which keeps an active tooth infection from becoming symptomatic. For those that have existing tooth infections with no symptoms, the only way to tell if theres an infection is by visiting your dentist and getting x-rays taken.

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How Do Healthcare Providers Diagnose Fractured Teeth

To diagnose a fractured tooth, your provider will ask about your symptoms and what caused the possible broken tooth. They will ask about trauma or injury youve experienced.

For a thorough evaluation of your teeth, youll need to see a dentist. They will ask about your dental history and whether you grind your teeth or chew on ice or hard foods.

After that, your dentist will:

  • Check to see whether your tooth is broken or knocked out .
  • Ask you to bite down on a stick to see if you feel pain.
  • Inspect your teeth for crack lines.
  • Examine your gums for inflammation, since vertical fractures may irritate your gums.
  • Pass a light through your tooth to illuminate the fracture .
  • Put a staining dye on your tooth to better see the tooth crack.
  • Take an X-ray of your teeth to see fractures and related issues, such as bone loss. Imaging may include a 3D scan called a cone beam CT scan that can show bone loss suggestive of a fracture.
  • Use special tools to locate the crack by checking if the tools get caught on the crack.

Can My Cracked Or Chipped Tooth Wait

Cracking or chipping a tooth can be an alarming experience, and the appearance of your smile is usually instantly altered when this happens. After the initial fright of damaging your teeth, you might feel as though you can wait to seek treatment treatment of your cracked or chipped tooth. But this isnât true! Cracked teeth and chipped teeth have more of an effect on your smile than you think, and you should always get checked out by your dentist as soon as possible after the injury to your teeth. Hereâs why you should never wait to see a dentist when your tooth has been injured!

Sensitive Teeth

If youâve chipped your tooth and the size of the chip is relatively small, your dentist may just need to ensure your tooth hasnât sustained further damage and smooth over the chipped area of the tooth. However, if your chipped or cracked tooth has experienced damage you canât see, you could experience increased tooth sensitivity. This means your crack or chip has created cracks or an opening in your toothâs enamel, which allows the inner part of your tooth to be highly sensitive to extreme temperatures, sweet foods, and even cold air!Cavities

Tooth Loss


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How Is A Cracked Tooth Treated

Treatment for a cracked tooth depends on the location and severity. Tiny cracks are common and typically do not even require any treatment. However, cracks that affect the cusp of a tooth may require a treatment procedure possibly a crown.

Roughly 20% of cracked teeth require a root canal, and in some severe cases, the cracked tooth may need to be removed altogether. In that case, we can replace the tooth with an implant or a bridge.

Symptoms Of An Abscessed Tooth

Worn, Cracked or Broken Teeth

June 11, 2018 By Duff Family Dental

Although every persons experience with an abscessed tooth is a bit different, many stories begin the same way. At first, you might notice sensitivity to hot and cold foods. Next, even biting becomes a little painful. Then, there is a dull, throbbing sensation. Finally, severe pain strikes. It might wake you up in the middle of the night or catch you during an important life event, like a wedding or graduation. The best way to prevent an abscessed tooth from ruining your day is to get regular checkups from your dentist and practice good oral hygiene. Knowing the symptoms of an abscessed tooth can help you recognize the issue quickly, and the earlier you receive treatment, the better.

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What Is A Chipped Tooth

A chipped tooth occurs when part of the tooth breaks away. This is typically caused by a blow to the mouth during a sporting event, physical altercation, car wreck, or an accident. Another common cause is bruxism . Chips are not typically a serious concern, but they do require prompt attention and care to ensure the issue does not worsen or lead to an oral infection.

Sensitivity To Hot Or Cold

Cracked teeth are often sensitive to hot or cold sensations. This is because the crack may leave the root of the tooth more exposed, and the nerves of the tooth are primarily located in the tooths root. A mild sensitivity is not a serious concern and can typically be managed through limiting consumption of hot or cold foods and drinks, but a severe sensation may indicate an issue that cannot wait for dental care.

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Can A Broken Tooth Get Infected

I have a tooth that broke a while back. I didnt really do anything about it and eventually, more of it broke off so it is pretty much just the stuff underneath. The hole where the tooth used to be is hurting on and off. When it does hurt it is hard for me to concentrate or work. Is it possible for a broken tooth to get infected if it is pretty much gone? If so, what do you do about it?


Dear Kevin,

If you have pain in that tooth, then you have an infection already. You need to get that tooth out as soon as possible. I want you to think about what is near your jaw your brain, heart, and lungs.

This is why tooth infections are considered dental emergencies. They can turn life-threatening fairly quickly.

Will I Need A Crown After My Root Canal

Treatment of Abscessed Teeth

The root canal does not fully address the cosmetic appearance of a chipped tooth. Additionally, a tooth that is severely damaged by a chip is vulnerable to further damage even after a root canal. To solve this concern, the dental professional will likely recommend having a dental crown or dental veneer placed over the tooth for additional protection.

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Types Of Cracked Teeth

Cracks can appear as:

  • Craze lines. These are super-small cracks in the enamel of teeth. They cause no pain and dont require any treatment.
  • Fractured cusp. This kind of crack generally occurs around a dental filling. It usually doesnt affect the pulp of the tooth and as a result doesnt cause much pain.
  • Cracks that extend into the gum line. A tooth that has a vertical crack that extends through it but hasnt yet reached the gum line is generally savable. However, if the crack extends into the gum line, that tooth may need to be extracted. Prompt treatment offers the best chance of saving the tooth.
  • Split tooth. This is a tooth with a crack that travels from its surface to below the gum line. It can actually be separated into two segments. With such an extensive crack, its unlikely the entire tooth can be saved, but your dentist may be able to save a portion of it.
  • Vertical root fracture. This type of crack begins below the gum line and travels upward. It often doesnt produce much in the way of symptoms, unless the tooth becomes infected. Chances are the tooth will have to be extracted.

Not every cracked tooth will produce symptoms. But when it does, common ones include:

  • pain when chewing or biting, especially when you release the bite
  • sensitivity to heat, cold, or sweetness
  • pain that comes and goes, but is rarely continuous
  • swelling of the gum around the affected tooth

Is It Necessary To Repair A Chipped Tooth

Yes, you should visit your dentist to repair a chipped tooth as soon as possible. Though it might seem minor and painless, a chipped tooth is weaker and at a high risk of experiencing more chips or breaking.

Too much structure loss may lead to the loss of a tooth. And chipped teeth are at risk of bacteria infecting the teeth through the exposed damaged area of the tooth.

With larger chips that reach the interior of the tooth, the pulpthe living part of the tooth made of connective tissue, blood vessels, and nervescan become damaged, quickly infected, and start to die. So its important to repair a fixed tooth, even a minor chip, to prevent further damage and avoid tooth loss.

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Diagnosing A Cracked Tooth

X-rays dont also reveal a cracked tooth, and not everyone has typical symptoms. To help diagnose a cracked tooth, your dentist will probably do the following:

  • Ask about your dental history, such as whether you chew on a lot of hard foods or grind your teeth.
  • Make a visual examination. Your doctor may need to use a magnifying lens to see tiny cracks.
  • Feel for the crack. Your dentist may run a dental explorer over and around the tooth to see if it catches on an edge.
  • Use a dental dye, which can make the crack stand out.
  • Probe your gums looking for inflammation. This technique is especially helpful in identifying vertical cracks, which can irritate gums.
  • X-ray your teeth. While this wont necessarily reveal the crack, it can point out poor pulp health, which can indicate a crack is present.
  • Have you bite down on something. If you have a cracked tooth, you may feel pain when you release your bite.

Treatment depends on the size of the crack, where its located, your symptoms, and whether the crack extends into the gum line. Depending on those factors, your dentist may recommend one of the following:

How Do Dentists Treat A Fractured Tooth

Tooth Abscess

Treatment for a fractured tooth depends on how much damage your tooth has. Common cracked tooth treatments include:

  • Bonding: Plastic resin is used to fill in the fracture.
  • Cosmetic contouring: Rough edge rounding and polishing smooths out the broken tooth.
  • Crown: A porcelain or ceramic cap is fitted over the fractured tooth. Often used when you dont have enough of your natural tooth for a veneer.
  • Extraction: Complete removal of your tooth. Used when the root and nerves of your tooth show severe damage.
  • Root canal: Removal of damaged pulp to prevent further tooth weakening. Used when the fracture extends into the pulp.
  • Veneer: A thin covering of porcelain or plastic goes over the front of the tooth. Often used when you have a good amount of your natural tooth left.

Sometimes your dental provider may recommend not repairing a broken tooth at all. This may occur when your fracture does not:

  • Affect your appearance.
  • Extend very deep or far, such as a hairline crack.

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Which Teeth Are At Risk

Any weakened tooth is at risk. But one study shows that the second lower molar possibly because it takes a fair amount of pressure when chewing and teeth with fillings are most prone to chipping. That being said, intact teeth are also subject to chipping.

If the chip is minor and not at the front of your mouth, you may not know you have it at all. When you do have symptoms, however, they may include:

  • feeling a jagged surface when you run your tongue over your teeth
  • irritation of the gum around the chipped tooth.
  • irritation of your tongue from catching it on the tooths uneven and rough edge
  • pain from pressure on the tooth when biting, which can be intense if the chip is near to or exposes the nerves of the tooth

Signs That A Cracked Tooth May Be A Dental Emergency

A cracked tooth can occur by biting down too hard, from a blow to the face during sports, or while grinding teeth at night while sleeping, among numerous other ways, so it is important to always seek treatment for a cracked tooth and understand the signs that may indicate a need for dental emergency treatment.

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Getting Help For An Abscess Tooth

Your dentist may have you come in for an urgent appointment so the infection does not get worse. If it is after business hours, call the emergency number to find out what to do. The dentist or nurse can decide if you need immediate care. Call Emergency Dentist near me if you need immediate help for a tooth abscess.

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