Broken Teeth

A break in the tooth can range from being one of the most asymptomatic condition to the most painful condition. It can affect any age group. The uniqueness is that every tooth doesn’t break in the same pattern. There are number of ways in which a tooth can break.

What are the causes of Broken tooth ?

Broken Teeth

1. A person falls or meets with an accident
2. A person has been hit on the head
3. A person on biting very hard food, suddenly with great amount of force
4. Fractured cap or filling can lead to breakage of underlying tooth
5. Severe Dental caries can lead to decreased strength of tooth structure
6. Already loosened teeth eg : primary teeth

What are the commonly encountered types of tooth breakage ?

1. Tooth cracks – thin, faint crack lines on one surface of the tooth. They maynot be appreciated or patient may not know them. They may have no symptoms. Sometimes food may accumulate in the cracks and lead to severe pain.
2. Chipping of tooth – small fragment of tooth may be lost.

  • If the affected teeth are anteriors – It may range from slight change in its appearance on smiling.
  • If the affected teeth are posteriors – Symptoms may or may not be there.

1. Cusp fractures – small cusp or cusp tip may be lost. Patient may have sensitivity. There may be formation of a rough surface on tooth. When the tongue touches on it, there may be slight pain to the tongue due to the rough surface on the tooth.

2. Tooth fractures – some fragment of the tooth may be lost. This can range from no symptoms to sensitivity or severe pain to the patient.

3. Loss of tooth – severe trauma to the tooth can cause loss of tooth structure with severe pain. Commonly tooth fragments remain inside the jaw which have to be consulted by the dentist.

4. Entire tooth loss – accidents are mostly associated with loss of entire tooth. They have to be replaced for the structural and functional integrity of the oral cavity.

How to diagnose broken teeth ?

The faint cracks may not be known. But in other types, there may be change in appearance or may be associated with sensitivity, severe pain finally missing teeth can also result.
Complications: If the broken tooth are left.
They may cause:

  • Pus accumulation (abscess)
  • Swelling
  • Discolouration of the tooth

How will the dentist diagnose ?

The dentist will conduct a routine examination. Transillumination can be used by the dentist – where light is passed through the tooth in order to appreciate the small cracks. Your dentist will use X rays to detect the depth of breakage and inner damage to the tooth.

How to Treat broken tooth ?

You may have no symptoms but when cracks or faint lines are detected in routine dental checkup, your dentist will suggest the treatment as per the level of crack on the tooth. The sensitivity and small cracks can be treated by filling materials. The cusp fractures can be treated by onlay or crowns. The severe tooth pain due to fracture of tooth can be treated by Root canal treatment. Sometimes entire tooth is broken and the success rate is decreased then as per your dentist suggests it would be better to go for extraction followed by replacement of the missing tooth.
The success rate of broken tooth treatment depends on how early you visit your dentist. They can do the best to save the tooth and decrease the after effects.

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