If your tooth is broken, cracked, chipped, or fractured, see your dentist as soon as possible. Contrarily, your tooth could be split further or grow infected, possibly causing you to end up losing the tooth.
Endodontists specialize in keeping broken teeth and will provide treatment to the type, position, and size of the crack. The earlier your tooth is treated, the better the outcome. Once treated, most cracked teeth continue to function as they should, for many years of pain-free biting and chewing.
The most common symptoms are:
- Pain when biting or eating
- Irritation to hot or cold foods
- No signs at all
- The tongue or cheek becomes disturbed by a rough or sharp edge
Five treatments that can repair your cracked or broken tooth
How to know your tooth is broken?
When a tooth is broken, it will not be damaged instantly, but a cracked tooth may have been structurally crippled. You usually feel a broken area quickly, because it feels sharp when you brush your tongue.
Sometimes the teeth look OK, but it hurts when you eat or when the temperature in your mouth changes (because you drank something hot or cold, for example). If your teeth are always sore, they may have damaged nerves or blood vessels.
While small fractures of the tooth rarely cause pain, if it breaks a large tooth, it can be very painful. This is because it exposes the nerve inside the tooth to air or hot or cold foods and drinks. Broken or cracked toothache can be persistent or comes and goes, but whatever it is, we must view it as a priority by the dentist. Leaving a broken tooth for worse can cause serious infections, more complications and eventually tooth decay.
Type of Broken tooth
There are several types of tooth fractures and breaks, each requiring different treatments. These include:
1) Small cracks
Also called “craze lines” are surface cracks that affect only the outer white surface of the tooth, called enamel. Small cracks rarely require treatment. However, we can gently polish this area to make any rough spots easier and will advise you if there is anything to be careful about.
2) Cracked teeth
This fracture involves the entire tooth from the chewing surface to the nerve. The fragments remain in place, but the crack spreads slowly. Cracks can sometimes be repaired with composite (white) material, but crowns will often be needed to prevent cracks from getting worse. If the pulp (nerve and other living tissue) is damaged, you may need root canal treatment.
Small tooth chips do not always need treatment. To prevent the damage to the dental bleaching material from worsening or to make the tooth look better, we may suggest fixing it. If the chip is small, we can only polish and smooth the chipped area.
4) Broken cusp
This break affects the tooth’s pointed chewing surfaces (cups). They rarely affect the pulp and are unlikely to cause much pain. We can repair the damage to restore the shape of the tooth. However, search or crown will be needed if the damage is anything but, as it can lead to breakage infections and more damage.
5) Serious break
This break may be sufficient .and to reveal the nerve. They are always harmful to the teeth and sensitive. Usually, blood will flow from the broken part of the tooth. To remove the open nerve, you will probably need a crown to treat the root canal and restore teeth to normal function so that you can eat and chew properly. Breaks like this require immediate dental work.
6) Tical wet break or split root
The cracks begin at the root of the tooth and extend upward toward the chewing surface. These breaks are often painful because the area around the roots is swollen or infected. In most cases, the teeth will have to be removed and replaced with a dental implant or bridge.
7) Decay-induced break
Here, the tooth is broken or decayed because a cavity weakens it from the inside. We will test the cavity and recommend the best way to restore the tooth. Sometimes, a supplement is enough to keep the teeth healthy. If the decay is widespread, however, the teeth may require root canal treatment, ceric treatment or crown.
How can I treat a damaged tooth at home?
There is no way to treat cracked or broken teeth at home. You need to see us as soon as possible. To make the call as soon as possible, we will usually make room for emergency visits. Whether tooth decay or tooth trauma has caused a break and tooth nerve is compromised, we can find out. Damaged nerves will usually require root canal treatment. In the meantime:
- Apply a cold pack on the cheeks or lips over the broken teeth. This will help reduce swelling and relieve pain. Do not put it on the teeth or gum.
- Apply pressure with a piece of gauze on any bleeding areas for about 10 minutes or until bleeding stops.
- If you can’t get to us right now and the breaks aren’t serious, apply dental cement on the teeth (they can buy dental cement from most pharmacies). Please call for help when applying toothpaste.
- If this does not work, use a pressurized tea bag to stop the bleeding.
- Take over-the-counter pain relief as needed. Tell us if you’ve taken any pain medication.
- Rinse your mouth well with warm water.