Although teeth are extremely strong, they can break, crack or chip. If you sustain just a small chip, your tooth may not hurt at all. On the other hand, if a big piece of your tooth breaks off, the residue can hurt badly. This is, particularly, if the nerve inside your tooth is damaged or if the nerve endings in the dentin are exposed to stimuli (hot or cold beverages and/or food and air). Pain from a broken or fractured tooth can be constant or intermittent. In most people, pain is felt when chewing food or biting down on something tough. There is no way to cure a broken tooth at home if it’s so painful. Instead, visit the nearest emergency dental clinic as quickly as possible to increase your chances of saving your tooth.
What can break a tooth?
Teeth can break due to various reasons, including biting down on hard things or being hit in your mouth or face. You can break a tooth if you fall down unexpectedly and bang your face or mouth on a hard surface. If you have tooth decay or cavities, your teeth will gradually weaken and start chipping. Having large and old amalgam fillings that don’t provide adequate support to the remaining tooth enamel can eventually trigger tooth breakage. The best way to avoid teeth breakages and fractures is to keep away from situations that could cause trauma.
If you play a particular sport and it is rough, visit your uptown dentist and ask them for a suitable mouth guard. You should also brush your teeth two times a day and floss at least once to remove plaque that triggers cavities and gum disease. If you have a chipped tooth that is tremendously painful or mildly sensitive, set an appointment with the top dentist in uptown. He or she will examine the interiors of your tooth to establish whether your nerve and nerve endings are still functional. If you have a fractured tooth, your case is an emergency and treatment should not be delayed. Even if you don’t feel pain, there may be damage to the roots or nerves of the tooth. So, have it scrutinized by a qualified dentist.
What can you do right away?
Until you make it to the emergency dental office, it’s important to give yourself first aid. You should do the following steps:
- Use warm water to thoroughly rinse your mouth.
- Use a piece of gauze to exert pressure on a bleeding area. Do this for ten minutes and if the bleeding doesn’t stop, continue applying more pressure. An alternative way is to bite down a tea bag.
- Apply a cold compress to the painful area of your outer cheek or lips. A cold pack will not only soothe the pain, it will also reduce the swelling.
- If you are unable to see your 77027 dentist the soonest possible, use a temporary dental cement to cover the remaining part of the fractured tooth. This is sold in your local drugstore.
- Use an OTC (Over-the-counter) pain killer drug.
Once you follow the aforesaid steps, get to the nearest dentist. This professional will rule out the likelihood that your tooth has a damaged nerve or blood vessel. It is easy to know that you have a chipped tooth. This tooth will mostly hurt when you release a bite instead of when you bite on it. If your nerve is wrecked, the only way to save your tooth is to have a root canal treatment done.
Types of tooth breakages
There are various kinds of tooth fractures and breakages. Every kind requires unique treatment approaches. Here are the types:
- Minor crack – This is also known as a craze line. It refers to a surface crack that affects only your tooth enamel. This sort of crack is too small to require urgent treatment. All the same, the crack should be polished to remove any coarse areas.
- Cracks – These refer to the kind of fractures that affect the whole tooth. In short, cracks affect the crown and the root of a tooth. While the tooth barely disintegrates, the crack extends progressively. Unless it is repaired with dental fillings and then capped with a dental crown, a cracked tooth could worsen. A root canal procedure may be necessary if the pulp of the tooth is damaged.
- Broken cusp – These are the pointy chewing surfaces of your teeth. Once broken they no longer appear sharp and pointed. While the pulp is not reached when a cusp breaks, you still need to repair the damage to prevent future dental pain and restore the prior shape of your tooth. Repair is usually done with a crown or an onlay.
- Chipped tooth – Some chips are too tiny and trivial to need treatment. However, your dentist may seal the small chip with a dental filling material to keep it from spreading. As well, a filled tooth will look better in terms of aesthetics. But if the chip is almost undetectable, your dentist might just polish and smooth it out.
- Split tooth – This is when a tooth breaks vertically into two separate sections. If your tooth is a front one with one root, it may hardly be saved. This sort of tooth will be extracted. On the contrary, if your split tooth is a molar, some of its roots might remain and can be covered with a crown after a root canal treatment. If there are roots that are too weak to be left behind, your dentist will remove them. They might also crown
- Serious break – This sort of breakage is so deep that it exposes the nerve of the tooth. As a result, you will have a painful tooth that has to be seen by a qualified oral doctor right away. There is likely to be hemorrhage at the site of trauma and the best way to treat a serious break is to perform an endodontic treatment (root canal). Your endodontist will remove an exposed nerve and place a crown to make your tooth as functional as before.
- Split root – This refers to vertical cracks that begin in the root of your tooth and progress up toward the crown or the visible part of your tooth. These types of teeth breaks are excruciating as the area around the root of your tooth may become infected or irritated. In such a situation, your oral surgeon will pull out the tooth.
- Cavity-inducted break – In this one, a tooth breaks due to the presence of tooth decay. Decay is a problem that weakens a tooth from the inside out. After the cavity is evaluated, a dental specialist will decide how best to treat your tooth. A tooth will be removed if the cavity has eaten into most of the tooth structure and has touched the bone.
How comes my broken teeth don’t hurt?
After suffering dental trauma, you may automatically expect your affected teeth to hurt a lot. But what if no pain is felt? This is totally normal. A tooth that ends up breaking does not necessarily hurt. The broken piece might be too small to cause any difference. The chipped piece of your tooth might not hurt because it’s a bit far away from its pulp tissue or nerve. If the affected tooth was previously root-canalled, meaning that the nerve had been removed, you cannot feel any pain. As well, those who have a necrotic tooth (a tooth with dead nerve) cannot feel pain after their tooth breaks.
If a fractured tooth hurts
The key reason why a tooth that has broken would hurt is if its pulp tissue has been seriously damaged. If your tooth hurts spontaneously, there is a possibility that the pain could go away after a few days. This is if you act quickly to help its recovery process. If the pain stays consistent, it is a sign that your tooth requires a root canal therapy before it can be restored to its original size and shape. It is only a qualified dental expert who can determine the most appropriate and safest way to restore broken teeth that hurt.
Sensitivity to biting pressure
This can indicate that you are suffering from more than one problem. For instance, your tooth may not only be broken off, but also cracked. In such a case, pain may occur when pressure is exerted on the cracked areas, causing them to shift and hurt. Two, your tooth may have fractured but the loosened part is still fixed to the gum tissue. If pressure is exerted and triggers movement of the loosened fragment, pain may be felt in the gum tissue. If there was an underlying condition prior to the tooth breakage, sensitivity can be felt when pressure is applied. For instance, if your tooth was already a great candidate for a root canal therapy, it may hurt or develop sensitivity after breaking.
What does it mean when a tooth hurts due to hot or cold stimuli?
A fractured tooth may hurt more or may only be painful when it is exposed to hot or cold temperatures. This may happen when you consume hot or cold foods and/or drinks. But if the tooth stops hurting after the removal of the stimuli, it means that the nerve is okay. Once a tooth repair is completed the tooth will not hurt anymore. Conversely, a cracked tooth that continues to hurt even after the heat stimuli is removed could have a damaged nerve. Only a root canal therapy can solve such a problem.
When pain emanates from soft tissues
There are times when broken teeth don’t hurt at all yet pain is still felt. In such a situation, it’s usually the soft tissues that rub against the broken tooth’s sharp edges. These include your inner cheeks, tongue and lips.
Prompt action is necessary
Any tooth that has broken should be inspected by a dentist at once. If nothing is done, this tooth may continue to chip. One day you might just lose your whole tooth. Another problem is that a broken tooth creates a nice breeding ground for bacteria that cause cavities. Plaque can get trapped in the chipped area and if it is continuously left behind when brushing and flossing, tooth decay could start happening. Before you know it, a chipped area that was once tiny will be larger, deeper and painful.
A fractured tooth can be fixed in various ways. However, the best method is determined after a diagnosis is offered. Sometimes an invisalign dentist does a minor repair of the damaged area. This usually includes minor polishing and smoothing with a dental drill. On the contrary, a person who has a larger chip may require dental restoration with a small amount of dental filling. Based on your dentist’s discovery during examination, he or she might place a dental crown on top of the fractured tooth to protect it from further damage.
A more extensive fracture where larger portions of a tooth are missing requires long hours of restoration and repair work. This repair work may entail placement of a dental filling material and then crowning of the tooth to prevent further breakage. A dental crown is known to reinforce and strengthen a chipped tooth. In more complicated cases where damage extends beneath your gumline, surgery of the gum may be needed. Two issues may arise during surgery. First, if the edge of the dental restoration necessary for repair is too close to the level of your bone, the surrounding gum tissue may constantly be irritated or infected. If there is too little tooth structure extending above your gums and bone, your laser dentistry expert may face a difficulty anchoring your new restoration with a crown or dental filling.
Another trick is to do the root canal therapy when the tooth pulp tissue is damaged. Note that dentists cannot reattach broken parts of your tooth. As a result, a loose portion of a fractured tooth that is still attached to your gums will be removed. Unless you bite down on your loose piece of tooth, it won’t hurt at all. A temporary filling material such as zinc oxide powder and eugenol liquid blend is often used to sedate the area and boost pulp tissue recovery before permanent restoration can begin.