A major component of routine dental care is a professional cleaning. Because this is typically done by a dental hygienist, someone in this profession typically knows more about the patients' teeth than the dentist or even the patient themselves. This makes a dental hygienist a tremendous source of information about oral health. Take advantage of…
An Emergency Dentist Discusses Broken Teeth
One of the common emergencies handled by an emergency dentist is broken teeth. The teeth deteriorate gradually from years of chewing, grinding and clenching. Repetitive use places stress on the teeth, which means many people will deal with a broken tooth at one point or another. This article talks about the causes of broken teeth and possible solutions.
Risks of teeth breakage
Tooth decay, untreated gum disease and trauma from injuries or accidents are all contributing factors for a broken tooth. When tooth decay reaches the center of a tooth, it damages healthy tooth structure. When the tooth structure is compromised, the tooth is more susceptible to fracture. Once decay has worsened drastically, simply biting on foods can cause the breakdown of the remaining tooth structure.
Some tooth fractures demand urgent treatment, especially if the fracture is close to the tooth nerves. An emergency dentist needs to examine the fracture to learn the severity of the damage. Although the tooth itself may appear intact, the tooth may eventually fall apart if untreated. Different forms of tooth breakage include:
Some patients have a few surface fracture lines on their tooth enamel that are caused by biting on hard objects or grinding the teeth. The dentist usually notices most of these cracks during a checkup. This type of crack is not considered an emergency because it is usually symptomless. The best action is to maintain good oral hygiene or get a custom nightguard to prevent further damages.
Small chips are generally not problematic. If the chip makes the tooth sensitive, it means that the breakage has reached the center of the tooth containing the nerves. Since a chipped tooth changes the appearance of the smile, some patients may want to correct this flaw. Delaying treatment can cause the rough surface to collect bacteria, which may cause a cavity.
A tooth with a broken cusp is worse than one with small chips. Broken cusps can cause teeth sensitivity or contribute to further deterioration of the tooth. An emergency dentist can use composite fillings to repair the tooth depending on the severity of the breakage. In the worst scenarios, a crown may be necessary to protect a fractured tooth.
If a tooth has a deep crack, it may affect the roots or pulp of the tooth. Deep cracks can cause severe pain, especially when biting or chewing. A crack that reaches the core of the tooth and affects the nerves can allow the invasion of bacteria. Bacterial invasion can cause inflammation of the nerves and eventual tooth infection. In the case of a tooth infection, a root canal treatment may be done to save the tooth. The tooth will also need a crown to withstand biting and chewing forces and prevent further infection.
If your tooth gets broken or cracked, you need to visit an emergency dentist for help, especially if you are in pain. A prompt appointment will help to prevent infection and further damage. The dentist will examine the tooth and recommend proper treatment.
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