Do you know that your teeth are stronger than your bones? Teeth can handle an incredible amount of pressure every day, but if your teeth are weak or you have compromised oral health, then you may experience chipping or breakage as you age.
Let’s explore some more reasons that may lead to a broken tooth:
- The breakage of frontal teeth due to a fall or accident. It is very common in children.
- Untreated cavities lead to brittle teeth, initiating the process of breakage.
- Clenching and grinding habits wear out the enamel and cause the tooth to fracture or break.
- Old fillings that have not been replaced or provide no support to the teeth can also cause chipped, fractured and broken natural teeth.
- Chewing on hard food and candies may cause a tooth to break.
Why is a broken tooth dangerous?
You may not feel pain every time you get a chipped or broken tooth, but the edges of the tooth can irritate your tongue and pinch your cheek.
If the tooth is broken near the nerve ending, you can go through a range of symptoms, including sharp streaks of pain, sensitivity to hot/cold food and limited ability to bite or chew food.
In this case, it is crucial to seek a dentist appointment immediately lest the broken tooth crosses the stage of being repaired.
Delayed treatment can also cause irreversible nerve damage.
Managing symptoms of a broken tooth at home
There are ways to manage your broken tooth at home until you visit your dentist for an emergency tooth repair treatment. It is important to note that these tips and remedies will only work if your tooth dentin is not exposed. If you feel extreme sensitivity, then it is best to seek urgent dental care at a professional facility.
Rinse your mouth
Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water and swish gently in your mouth for 10 to 20 seconds. The hydrogen peroxide rinse helps to lower the chance of infection. If you do not have hydrogen peroxide available at home, then mix half a teaspoon of salt in lukewarm water and rinse your mouth. This remedy can be practised two to three times a day. Make sure you do not ingest the saline water.
Cold compress is an old dental remedy to relieve swelling and pain temporarily. Apply an ice pack or a towel filled with ice cubes on the affected site frequently at 10-minute time intervals.
Use a medical gauze to clean blood
Do not clean the affected area inside the mouth with a tissue, wet wipes or a cloth napkin. To reduce bleeding, you only need to fold a gauze and place it on the affected area. Replace the gauze if it is completely soiled with blood and use a new one.
Be mindful of your diet
You should avoid carbonated sodas, alcohol, coffee and other types of cold or sweet beverages.
- Hard foods with small particles, such as nuts, can lodge themselves into the cracked or broken tooth.
- Food that is too chewy and sticks to the base or tip of the tooth.
- Fruits that contain seeds, such as strawberries and raspberries etc.
Take a good amount of semi-solid and soft food. Soups, bone broths, cereals and yogurt are great options.
Chew from the other side
Do not use the affected side of the mouth for chewing or biting. It can aggravate the pain and discomfort.
Use over-the-counter pain medication
Use OTC pain medications available at your local drug store to ease pain and inflammation.
You can take ibuprofen, Naproxen Sodium, Panadol Extend and acetaminophen to reduce pain.
Do not apply any oral gel on your broken tooth without the advice of your dentist.
Signs of an infected broken tooth
There is a high chance of catching an infection in your broken tooth. It is because germs and bacteria can easily access the dental pulp forming an abscess. An infected broken tooth is considered a dental emergency. The infection, if not tended to early, can spread in the gums, throat and even the sinuses. Typical symptoms of an infected tooth include:
Tooth pain: Pain triggered by an infected tooth is high intensity and radiates to your neck, ear and head. The pain is strong enough to disrupt your daily routine.
High-grade fever: The lymph nodes located at the side of your neck will feel swollen and painful. You will experience high-grade fever with a puffy face.
Foul taste: The taste in your mouth will feel foul and bitter, and your breath will turn smelly due to the bacteria spreading in the mouth.
Increased sensitivity: An infected tooth will turn super sensitive to anything you eat or drink, some times even a glass of water at room temperature can create discomfort.
Can a broken tooth cause different types of health problems?
The answer is yes! A broken tooth not only affects your dental health but also runs havoc on your body, creating a plethora of different health issues.
Periodontitis, gingivitis, and infected or inflamed gums can be a result of an untreated broken tooth. Gum diseases can affect the overall quality of the teeth, making them weaker and more prone to damage and decay.
It is natural to reduce your food intake to avoid the pain caused by chewing or biting while having gum disease. This often leads to vitamin deficiencies from malnutrition.
Infected tissue or bones
As long as infection stays limited to the broken tooth, it is still treatable; however, if it spreads to the tissues of the gums and jaw bones, then it becomes a serious dental complication. You may require surgery and manual extraction of the abscess to curb the spread.
Can you believe a broken tooth can result in memory loss? Mouth bacteria are linked to multiple health problems, including dementia. Infection that spreads to the brain instigates the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
A dental abscess is very notorious and can spread within days. If it enters the bloodstream, it can cause shock to the body, leading to heart failure and coma.
A broken tooth can exacerbate complications for diabetic patients. The process of healing is slow in people with diabetes. If there is an abscess or a wound on the tongue and cheek, it will take weeks to heal, causing avoidable discomfort.
As the bacteria from the tooth enter the bloodstream, they will hit the lungs and may become an underlying cause of pneumonia and chronic lung disease. Lung impairment is very difficult to deal with and can put you on bed rest for months before you begin to heal.
How to fix a broken tooth?
A broken tooth is an unpleasant sight and might affect your overall appearance.
A crown is a useful dental appliance as it covers the tooth completely. It is thicker than veneers and provides you with a natural tooth shape. There are various kinds of materials used to make crowns, such as metal, ceramic and porcelain etc. Your dentist will choose the most suitable option for your tooth restoration.
Veneers are protective shells that are made up of resin or porcelain. Veneers are your best option if you feel shy to smile because of a broken tooth. It serves great as both a dental and cosmetic solution.
This is a long-lasting method to replace a broken or missing tooth. Tooth implants are made using titanium metal and appear like natural teeth. To get more information about dental implants, click here.
Bonding is the least invasive procedure for a broken tooth. Your dentist corrects the appearance of your broken tooth using a special composite material. The material is then cured with a blue light.
A cracked or broken tooth can form an abscess deep into the root of the tooth. Dentists recommend a root canal to save the tooth by draining the abscess and then covering it with a crown to stop the spread of infection.
A filling is the easiest way to restore a broken tooth. The dentist fixes your tooth by using a restorative mixture. This is a very useful procedure if your tooth is broken due to decaying. This process does not involve any invasive steps.
Dental sealants are an effective barrier against bacteria that eats away at your tooth. A sealant is applied at the back of your teeth, which consists of the molars and premolars.
It is important to understand that if you have a cracked, broken or chipped tooth, then it should be seen on an urgent basis by a dentist. The treatments mentioned above are some of the options your dentist may decide to use for your tooth restoration however, only your dentist can recommend which type of procedure would be suitable for you.
Are you worried about your broken tooth? Don’t wait any longer; book your appointment with Radiant Smiles Dental Group or reach us at (03) 9000 0537 for highly professional dental services.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
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