Causes and Treatment Options for a Broken Tooth
Our teeth are indeed very strong, but that doesn’t mean that they are invincible. Teeth may crack, chip, or even break. In this article, we discuss some of the common reasons why your tooth may crack, chip, or break. You’ll also find out which treatment options might work best for you.
Why Your Tooth May Break
Biting Hard Food Items. One of the most common reasons why teeth chip, crack or break is biting something hard, such as a nutshell or popcorn kennels. Such hard items can weaken the tooth or even cause it to break at the very moment when you bite into that hard food item.
Facial Trauma. Trauma to the face also contributes a significant proportion of the emergency dental care provided at Greeley Dental Care for chipped, cracked or broken teeth. This trauma could have occurred during a car accident, a blow to the face, or an impact during contact sports.
Untreated Cavities. When cavities are left untreated, they weaken the tooth, and it eventually becomes brittle. In this state, any small stress exerted on the tooth then causes it to break. Dr. Taher Dhoon explains that many patients call about dental emergencies. Majority of the time, their tooth breaks during their eating. What those patients don’t know is that the stage was already set by cavities and the bite force delivered the final blow.
Aging Amalgam Fillings. As large amalgam fillings age, what is left of the natural tooth also increasingly becomes brittle and may break suddenly when part of the filling weakens and detaches.
When you have a broken tooth, you may not necessarily feel any pain. However, some people may experience some discomfort while they eat if the broken tooth affected a nerve in the pulp. Others may develop sensitivity to cold or hot substances. Regardless of your symptoms, see an emergency dentist Greeley so that appropriate treatment can be provided. This will prevent the problem from getting worse and triggering other dental health issues.
Treatment Options for Broken or Fractured Teeth
Use of Fillings. When your tooth has a minor chip that doesn’t present any serious problems, Dr. Taher Dhoon may decide to file down the sharp edges of the chip. Then he will place a filling material on the tooth to prevent your tongue or lips from being cut by the edges.
Root Canal Therapy. Looking for emergency dental care in Greeley? Greeley Dental experts can help you fix your fractured or broken tooth. We might recommend a root canal if the damage affected the pulp in your tooth. This is especially likely if the broken tooth succumbed to a large cavity that triggered an infection in the pulp. Once the root canal is done, the emergency dentist in Greeley will fill the tooth so that no further infection develops.
Crown Placement. Another option available to treat a broken tooth is placing a crown over it. This particular treatment is a common intervention for patients with broken tooth cusps, split molars, vertical breaks, or even split molars. The damaged tooth is bound together using a special cement before a crown is placed on the entire structure to protect it from further damage.
Tooth Extraction. If the broken tooth is severely damaged, it may not be feasible to try and save it. In such a case, the dentist in Greeley, CO will extract it to prevent any infection from developing and affecting other teeth.
First Steps When Your Tooth Breaks
At Greeley Dental Care, we know that it may not always be possible for you to see an emergency dentist within minutes of your tooth fracturing or breaking. Time is of the essence if the tooth is to be saved, so we asked our friend, Dr. Ben Kacos, an emergency dentist in Shreveport, LA, about the steps you should take when your tooth breaks. Dr. Dhoon and Dr. Kacos recommend that you take the following steps as you wait to see the dentist in Greeley, CO:
- Use warm water to rinse your mouth so that no dirt contaminates any exposed internal tooth structures.
- Apply pressure to the bleeding site. A wet tea bag or gauze will suffice for this task.
- Use temporary dental cement, if you can access it at a nearby pharmacy, to cover any visible cracks on your tooth. This will prevent microbes and contaminants from entering the tooth.
- Take an appropriate OTC painkiller, such as Ibuprofen, to deal with any pain you may be feeling. Don’t take aspirin as this drug is a known blood thinner that may make you bleed continuously.
- If a portion of your broken tooth falls out of your mouth, use a saline solution, milk or saliva to keep it moist in a container.
Don’t disregard any case of a broken, cracked or chipped a tooth as minor. See Dr. Taher Dhoon at Greeley Dental Care immediately because the situation may be worse than you think. The emergency dentist in Greeley will assess you and administer the correct treatment to save that tooth, whenever possible.