Broken Tooth and Infection

Whether you cracked, broke, or chipped your tooth, you will want to be sure to make an appointment with the dentist to address it. You may not need an emergency appointment, but you should not delay your treatment. Delays early on could cause you more serious issues, more pain, and cost you additional money to address. Future you and your future health will appreciate that you took care of the break before it became a major hindrance on your well-being.

If you choose to leave your broken tooth as is without professional treatment, then you open yourself to infection. The enamel of your teeth is the hardest substance in your body and it is there to protect the inner pulp and delicate tissues of your teeth. When the enamel is disrupted or broken in any way, through a cavity or an accident, then the inside of the tooth is no longer protected. You already know how important it is to brush and floss to address the bacteria causing plaque in your mouth, but that bacteria can cause something even worse. When you have an infection inside your tooth, that often requires a root canal to treat. After the root canal, then the dentist may prescribe antibiotics. Once the infection is clear, the dentist can treat your damaged tooth with a dental crown to create a protective layer over the whole tooth.

Even if you are able to avoid an infection in your tooth or gums, you are most likely going to be in pain from the break and experiencing more pain when your tongue or cheeks touch the jagged edge on the remaining piece of your tooth. The exposure of the inside pulp of your tooth leaves an opening to a very sensitive part of your body. You will notice the crack or chip when you eat something that requires biting down hard or when you drink something hot or cold. You may need to start chewing a new way to avoid the broken tooth and you can have more issues with your bite. Even the joint that attaches your jaw to the rest of your head can be affected by the change in your bite.

Treatment Options

Depending on the cause of your tooth break and the seriousness of the damage caused by it, the dentist may need to clear the infection before treating the broken tooth. Often, a broken tooth will need to have a root canal to treat the remaining portion of the tooth in the mouth and its infected pulp. Then the dentist can determine if bonding the broken piece back to the remaining piece is an option, if dental bonding can address the crack or chip, or if you will need to look into a dental crown. If only a small portion of the protective enamel is missing, then the dentist may be able to repair the tooth with the same technique used in fillings after cavities. Be sure to talk to the dentist about the best foods to eat and to avoid when dealing with a broken tooth.

Half my tooth broke off