Broken Tooth

You’d think it would be very difficult to break a tooth. After all, enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. But your teeth — especially your molars or back teeth — work under tremendous pressures while you chew your food. And if you’re in an accident or suffer an injury, the force of the blow can chip, crack, fracture or break one or more teeth. If you suffer a broken tooth, visit the dentists at Dental Associates of Morris County. They can treat your pain while restoring your tooth.

A broken tooth involves minor or major damage, depending on how much of your tooth broke off. A minor break or chip may not even give you any lingering pain, but it still requires a dentist’s review. A chipped tooth can lead to faster decay. Plus, there may be more damage than you can see.

A major break, on the other hand, may expose the pulp, causing instant and severe pain. A broken tooth this bad needs emergency broken tooth repair. If you break a tooth, put the broken-off piece back in your mouth, if possible, or in a glass of milk or saline. Then get to your family dentist as quickly as you can. Call ahead to Dental Associates of Morris County to let them know you’re on your way with an emergency.

Events That Lead to Broken Tooth Repair

There are many ways you can break or crack a tooth. Broken tooth pain is often more intense than cracked tooth pain, but the conditions that lead up to the break or crack are often quite similar. You can physically damage your teeth by:

  • Chewing your food too vigorously
  • Grinding your teeth unconsciously, a medical condition called bruxism
  • Striking your jaw in an accident
  • Ignoring tooth decay to the point that it weakens your teeth
  • Getting a root canal, but not a crown
  • Having too many dental procedures on the same tooth
  • Biting into hard food with crooked front teeth
  • Being hit in the jaw or mouth
  • Letting an old filling fall apart
  • Chewing an ice cube or something harder
  • Opening a can or bottle with your teeth
  • Subjecting your teeth to temperature extremes, from very cold to very hot

Which Is More Painful: A Broken Tooth or a Cracked Tooth?

Both types of tooth damage cause pain. Broken tooth pain and cracked tooth pain can both be debilitating. The visceral pain you feel makes it impossible to eat, smile or concentrate on anything else. You require broken tooth repair or cracked tooth repair as soon as possible.

Broken tooth pain may hit you right away if the tooth exposes the pulp. Even if it doesn’t expose the pulp, it may expose the dentin layer, which is softer than the enamel and easier for bacteria to attack. If you don’t feel pain immediately after you break a tooth, you’ll feel it soon enough. Also, if you break enough of the tooth, it may cause other teeth to shift. You may end up with crooked front teeth.

Cracked tooth pain may not hit you right away. You may not even realize you’ve cracked a tooth, as the crack can be invisible. Cracked tooth pain comes and goes when you eat, since pressure on the tooth forces the crack open to bacteria and temperatures, both of which cause cracked tooth pain. Before cracked tooth repair, you may feel throbbing pain.

Diagnosing a Broken Tooth and a Cracked Tooth

When you get to your Madison, NJ dentist, you’ll be glad you chose Dental Associates of Morris County. Their family dentists also practice cosmetic dentistry. While they resolve your pain and fix your teeth, they’re also considering your appearance. Your dental health always comes first, but you may feel comforted knowing you’ll look your best after broken tooth repair.

A chipped or broken tooth is usually easy to spot, but a cracked tooth can evade even x-rays. The American Dental Association reports: “A crack may appear as a hairline fracture, running vertically along the tooth. It often is invisible to the eye.” It may be difficult to pinpoint the source of your cracked tooth pain. Temperature variations activate the pain.

Broken Tooth Repair and Cracked Tooth Repair

Both a cracked tooth and a broken tooth require treatment. A painful infection may result from either that can spread to other teeth and your jaw bone.

It’s possible that very small tooth cracks won’t need any special treatment. But tooth bonding with resin may be necessary for a cracked tooth repair to alleviate your pain. Worse case, if cracked tooth repair isn’t feasible, the tooth may need to be pulled.

Broken tooth repair often can be accomplished by gluing the tooth pieces you were able to recover back into place. If you don’t have the missing piece or the remnants are too small, the tooth still can be rebuilt with a composite resin or at least covered with a crown. You still may need a root canal too, if the nerve becomes exposed.