Teeth experience wear and tear on a regular basis from chewing, biting, and other oral functions. Usually, they endure this without issue, but sometimes an accident occurs that may cause the tooth to break. A broken tooth will disrupt the look of your smile. But it will also leave the tooth open to further dental damage.
You should not ignore tooth breakage and should instead call your dentist for an emergency dental evaluation. The dentist can offer individualized treatment to restore the tooth’s health, structure, and appearance. Read on to learn about signs that you might have a fractured tooth as well as the treatment you can expect from your dentist for this problem.
Symptoms of Tooth Fractures
A crack or chip in a tooth is sometimes easily visible. The breakage will deepen and worsen if you do not seek prompt treatment for this dental damage, and you might begin to notice darker discoloration in the tooth.
The primary symptom of a tooth fracture is pain, though the type of pain might vary. You might notice a constant toothache that feels more excruciating when you bite, chew, or otherwise exert pressure on the tooth. Intermittent sharp pain when performing oral functions could also point to a broken tooth.
You might also notice tooth sensitivity with a fractured tooth. Pain in the tooth occurs because the protective layer of enamel has become damaged. This leaves the inner layer of dentin, which contains nerves, exposed. When external items touch these nerves, they transmit pain signals to the brain.
Along with pain, you might see swelling around the tooth, including in the jaw. But sometimes a tooth fracture does not show noticeable symptoms at all. Continue routine dental check-ups to make sure your dental structure remains healthy. And call your dentist if you suspect you might have suffered an injury to your tooth.
Treatment for Broken Teeth
Treatment for a fractured tooth may vary depending on where the tooth has broken. If the crack is in the cusp, the visible part of the tooth above the gumline, the dentist might give you a dental crown to cover and shield the injury.
You might need more extensive treatment if the fracture spreads to the root of the tooth. Root canal therapy can stop the injury from worsening if a crack has only just reached the pulp of the tooth.
For more severe injuries to the tooth root, a dentist might need to extract the tooth to prevent an infection. In some cases, oral surgery to remove only the fractured part of the tooth root can avoid an extraction.
Your dentist will use x-ray imaging to evaluate the extent of the damage and determine the best treatment to preserve your smile after tooth breakage. You can discuss your smile aesthetic goals with your dentist too. Together, you can make sure you can feel proud of the appearance of your smile as you restore your oral health.