AND BROKEN TEETH
are remarkably strong, but they can chip, fracture or break.
Teeth usually break as a result of trauma — from biting down
on something hard, for example, or from a blow to the face.
A child may fracture a tooth falling off a bike or curb during
play. Cavities that have weakened the tooth also can cause chipping
a large piece of the tooth breaks off, it can hurt because the
nerve inside the tooth may be damaged. If the nerve inside the
tooth is exposed to air, saliva, or hot or cold foods or drinks,
it can be extremely uncomfortable.
a tooth cracks or fractures, it may or may not hurt. You may
not notice the damage immediately. Minor tooth fractures are
unlikely to cause symptoms. Deeper fractures can be painful
because the damage may extend to the nerve inside the tooth.
Pain from fractures may be constant or may come and go. Many
people feel pain when they chew because as they chew they apply
pressure to the tooth. As the fractured tooth bites down on
the food, the crack in the tooth gets wider, but once the pressure
is released, the crack closes again.
fractures may cause a portion of the tooth to break off.
You Can Do
is no way to treat fractured teeth at home. You need to see
your dentist whenever a tooth is sensitive to changes in temperature
or if it hurts while you're eating. Pain that's constant is
a serious warning sign because it may mean that a fracture has
damaged the nerve and live tissues inside the tooth.
want to see your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist will
need to determine if the break was caused by decay and if the
nerve is in danger. Adults with a damaged nerve usually will
require root canal treatment, but in children, there's a possibility
the nerve can be saved if the dentist is able to treat the problem
Save the pieces. If the break was relatively clean, your dentist
may be able to cement the tooth back together as a temporary
- Rinse your mouth well with warm water. If you were able to
save the tooth fragment(s), rinse them under running water.
- If an area is bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area
for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops.
Apply a cold compress to the cheek or lips over the broken tooth.
This will help reduce swelling and relieve pain.
- If you can't get to our dentist right away, cover the broken
surface of the tooth that is in your mouth with temporary dental
cement, available in pharmacies.
an over-the-counter pain reliever.
We Will Do at All Day All Night Dental
of Teeth Fracture
are several types of tooth fractures, each of which requires
different treatments. These include:
— Also called "craze lines," these are superficial
fractures that affect only the tooth's enamel, the outer white
part of the tooth. Minor cracks rarely need treatment. However,
your dentist may lightly polish the area to smooth out any rough
— Minor chips don't always need treatment, although your dentist
may recommend repairing the damage with filling material to
prevent it from getting worse or to make the tooth look better.
If the chip is in the front of the mouth, then our dentist probably
will use a tooth-coloured filling. Often, if the chip is very
small, your dentist may lightly sand the area to smooth out
any rough spots.
— These affect the pointed chewing surfaces (the cusps)
of the teeth. They usually do not affect the pulp and are unlikely
to cause significant pain. They may interfere with normal chewing,
however, so your dentist may need to repair the damage. Minor
cusp fractures sometimes are repaired by filing the surfaces
of the tooth to restore the shape of the tooth. Frequently,
these fractures will require an onlay or crown, in which the
tooth is covered with a metal or porcelain material.
— These are fractures of the teeth that are deep enough to expose
the nerve tissue. Usually, the broken part of the tooth will
bleed. They almost always cause the tooth to hurt and be sensitive.
This type of fracture will require root canal treatment to remove
the exposed nerve. A crown likely will be needed to restore
— This type of fracture involves the whole tooth, from the chewing
surface all the way down toward the nerve. However, in this
type of fracture the two pieces have not come apart. This type
of crack is similar to a crack that may form in an automobile
windshield; the pieces remain in place, but the crack gradually
spreads. Cracks can sometimes be repaired with filling material,
although the tooth often will need a crown to prevent the crack
from getting worse. If the pulp (nerve and other live tissues)
is damaged, you may need a root canal as well.
— This means that the tooth has split vertically into two separate
parts. Some teeth, such as your back teeth (molars), have more
than one root. It may be possible to keep one of the roots,
which will then be covered with a crown. First, root canal treatment
will be needed. Second, the root or roots that will not be kept
are removed with a minor surgical procedure. Third, a crown
will be made to cover the root and replace the tooth. Often,
however, the tooth will have to be extracted.
tooth fractures or split root
— These are cracks that start in the root of the tooth and extend
upward toward the chewing surface. Vertical tooth fractures
are often painful because the tissues surrounding the root may
be inflamed or infected. In most cases, the tooth will have
to be removed.
Decay-induced fracture —
In this case, the tooth has fractured or crumbled because a
cavity weakened the tooth from the inside out. Your dentist
will evaluate the cavity and recommend the best way to restore
are many possible treatments for broken teeth, depending on
the severity of the break.
If the break has affected only the outer part of the tooth (the
enamel), then our dentist, may be able to repair the damage
with a filling. If the tooth is in the front of the mouth, then
our dentist probably will use a composite (tooth-coloured) filling.
more serious break will involve the enamel as well as the inner
layer of the tooth (the dentin). In some cases, the damage can
be repaired with a filling, but often the tooth will need a
most serious breaks are those that damage the nerve. In addition
to making and placing a crown, your dentist probably will need
to do root canal treatment to remove the damaged nerve and blood
fractures will require periodontal surgery before a crown can
be placed. If the facture is below the gum line, close to or
below the bone holding the tooth in the jaw, periodontal surgery
will be needed to remove some bone to create enough room to
place the crown over the root properly.