A broken tooth is often painful. Any physical damage to a tooth can potentially expose the pulp of the tooth to bacteria. The result can be a dangerous infection. An infection, if left untreated, can spread to your jawbone and even beyond.
Broken tooth pain is one thing, but a broken tooth can also interfere with your smile. It can move your teeth out of position, leading to crooked front teeth. If you do break a tooth, save the broken piece in milk or a saline solution until you get in to see your family dentist in Albany County. If you notice a cracked tooth, make a dentist appointment as soon as possible.
While healthy teeth are strong enough to endure the normal wear and tear of rigorous daily use, certain accidents and wear and tear on previous dental work can result in a cracked or broken tooth. The most common causes of breakage include:
While a broken tooth usually makes itself known, you may find it more challenging to self-diagnose a cracked tooth. It can be difficult to determine whether cracked tooth pain comes from an upper or lower tooth. The crack may be a hairline fracture that’s invisible to the eye. It may not even appear on an x-ray!
Even though you can’t see it, you know something’s wrong. You can help your dentist identify the crack by explaining what causes your cracked tooth pain to get worse, such as:
Chewing forces open the crack in the tooth. When the crack closes, you experience sharp pain. The crack exposes the nerves and blood vessels in your tooth’s pulp to the air or the food and drink you’re consuming. If the pulp becomes damaged or infected, it may become necessary to perform a root canal procedure. Visit your Albany-area dentist as soon as possible.
If you have a broken tooth, you may not feel any immediate broken tooth pain, depending on the extent of the injury. But if the break is large enough, it exposes the nerve endings in the hard tooth tissue under the enamel called the dentin. In this case, your broken tooth pain is often substantial.
If you have a cracked tooth, you may feel pain when you’re chewing food from the extra pressure on the cracked tooth. Hot or cold food or beverages exacerbates your cracked tooth pain. The pain may be constant or intermittent.
While tiny tooth cracks may not need treatment, more severe cracks may require a bonding treatment or even a root canal. In the worst case, cracked tooth repair is not possible, and the tooth may require extraction.
Your dentist can accomplish broken tooth repair by gluing the missing segment of the tooth back in place if the broken piece is big enough. If it’s not that big or if you don’t have the missing piece, your dentist can use composite resin to rebuild the tooth. A restorative crown is another option. In severe cases with an exposed nerve, broken tooth repair may involve a root canal.