What to do When a Tooth Breaks
What causes a tooth to break?
A number of things can cause a tooth to break. You could bite down hard on something solid, such as a bone in your food, or a pen or pencil. Alternatively, your tooth can break by itself as a result of years of untreated decay, or if you constantly grind your teeth making them weak and highly vulnerable to fracture.
If my tooth gets broken, What will I feel?
Depending on the degree of fracture, you may feel a wide range of signs and symptoms. If the damage was small, you may feel nothing at all. If there is a small hairline crack, you may feel some pain on biting and some sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks. However, if the damage is more severe, where a large part of the tooth was chipped away, exposing the sensitive part of the tooth, that sensitivity becomes a lot more painful. Sometimes the fracture can reach the pulp or nerve of the tooth, and this can cause severe pain as if the tooth is inflamed.
What should I do if a tooth breaks?
The first step is to try not to make the condition worse by avoiding biting on that tooth as much, if at all. You should immediately seek the help of your dentist who will identify the problem, and begin working on the treatment at once.
Treatment of fractures depends on the extent of the damage. Small hairline or insignificant cracks may require no treatment except fluoride application and use fluoride-containing toothpaste and mouthwash. More severe cracks in which part of the tooth is missing require that this part be replaced, either by a form of filling or a dental cap or crown if a filling is insufficient. Fractures that reach the nerve of the tooth most probably will require root canal treatment, followed by placing a crown on the affected tooth. The most severe form of fracture which reaches the root of the tooth and renders the tooth unrestorable, and it will need to be extracted and replaced later on, but that can also be done.
What should I do to avoid breaking my teeth?
The most important thing is to take care of your oral health, by regularly brushing and flossing, and visiting your dentist at regular intervals, as decay is one of the primary reasons for tooth fracture. Also, if you have any unusual habit, like grinding your teeth or if you like to bite down on pens or nails, you should strive to try to stop them immediately, and wear a night guard if prescribed by your dentist, as these can cause sudden fracture that will be very surprising and probably very painful. You should also know that your teeth are built for cutting and chewing food, so if you use them for any other reason, like nail biting or opening soda bottles, you should stop immediately in order to maintain them healthy for a long time.