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Broken Tooth in Manhattan & Brooklyn, NY

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    Ideally, teeth are designed to last for life, but they can become cracked or broken due to age, teeth grinding and clenching or trauma, or other factors. A broken tooth can affect the crown visible in the mouth or the tooth root below your gum. It can cause a break in the tooth enamel, the hard outer surface, or affect the dentin, the tooth structure underneath the enamel, or the dental pulp, the soft inner part of the tooth containing nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues.  Initially, a broken tooth may not cause any symptoms, but it is important to treat it quickly.

    What Are the Symptoms of a Broken Tooth?

    When you break or crack a tooth, you may feel a sharp edge immediately or feel a piece of broken tooth in your mouth.
    However, a crack or break in a tooth doesn’t always cause symptoms, but when they do occur, they can include:

    • Tooth sensitivity to temperature changes or when eating anything sweet or sour
    • Swelling around the tooth
    • Intermittent pain, especially when you try to bite or chew on the tooth
    • Continuous toothache
    Broken Tooth in Manhattan & Brooklyn, NY

    How Do You Know If a Cracked Tooth Is Serious?

    A cracked tooth is serious if the damage is significant and especially if a significant portion of the tooth is damaged and there is a risk that the dental pulp is affected. In this case, urgent treatment is needed. However, any damage to a tooth that penetrates the tooth enamel is serious and requires prompt dental treatment. This is because a crack or break in the tooth enamel allows infectious bacteria to penetrate the dentin, where they can soon begin to cause infection and decay.

    Even a small crack in a tooth can slightly open when you bite down, letting in these bacteria, which is why it’s important to see a dentist as soon as you can. Broken tooth repair is often very straightforward and can be completed quickly before the damage can worsen and cause more unpleasant symptoms.

    What Causes a Broken Tooth?

    The most common cause of a broken or fractured tooth is age, as teeth are more prone to cracking after age 50. You may break a tooth if you bite on hard food like popcorn kernels, ice cubes, or hard candy. Teeth become more vulnerable to cracking or breaking if they have large fillings or if you have had root canal therapy. A tooth that has received root canal therapy is considered non-vital and can become more brittle over time, so teeth are often covered and protected with a dental crown after this treatment.

    Teeth grinding and clenching, a habit called bruxism, places teeth under considerable stress and can easily chip, break or crack them. It can crack a tooth if you take a blow to the mouth, perhaps because of a sporting injury, car accident, or other form of trauma.

    What to Do If a Tooth Breaks?

    If you break or crack a tooth, contact Century Dental for immediate help and advice over the phone and so that we can schedule an appointment to see you for a broken tooth repair. When someone has cracked tooth pain or is in significant discomfort, we try to see them on the same day. In the meantime, gently rinse your mouth and save any broken pieces of your tooth to bring to your dental appointment.

    Take over-the-counter pain medication to relieve any discomfort, and a warm salt water rinse can also help relieve pain and reduce swelling. If your broken tooth feels sharp, cover the edges with a small piece of sugar-free chewing gum to prevent the edges from digging into your cheeks or lips.

    Is It Okay to Leave a Broken Tooth?

    If you only have a small chip or crack, you may think leaving the tooth alone is okay. However, you run the risk of the tooth becoming infected and decayed, and that small chip or crack could become costlier and trickier to treat, and you could end up with significant broken tooth pain. Although breaking a tooth might not be an immediate dental emergency, you must visit a dentist as soon as possible. Timely dental care could save you a significant amount of money and prevent discomfort and pain from developing in the future.

    What Can I Do for a Broken Tooth That Hurts?

    If you have broken tooth pain, you must see a dentist quickly. The tooth nerve may have become infected or inflamed, and the damage to your tooth could be significant. The more quickly you can come and see us, the better the chance we can repair and restore the tooth. Leaving a painful tooth could increase the risk of losing it entirely, especially if it becomes severely infected.

    You can take over-the-counter pain medication to relieve discomfort quickly. Use a warm salt water rinse by dissolving a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water to help soothe the affected tooth until it is time for your appointment. Please do not place any medication on the tooth; this will not relieve the pain and could damage the surrounding tissues.

    How Do Dentists Treat a Broken Tooth?

    Treatment depends on the degree of damage to the tooth. If you have a small to medium-sized chip in a tooth, we can repair it with tooth-colored composite resin, bonding this material onto the tooth and shaping it so the tooth looks and feels natural and is strong enough for biting and chewing food normally.

    Another possible broken tooth repair is using a porcelain veneer, which might be an option if you have a cracked front tooth that is only missing a small chip from its edge. Otherwise, a full dental crown might be needed to restore a more badly damaged broken tooth, where a significant part of the original structure is missing.

    If a cracked tooth has affected the tooth nerve, root canal treatment is needed to remove the dental pulp and eliminate any infection and inflammation. The tooth is then covered with a dental crown to protect it.

    Many people will have a broken or cracked tooth at some point, and often it is easy to put right. If you know you have a cracked or broken tooth, please don’t leave it untreated but contact us so we can diagnose the problem and provide a suitable cracked tooth repair.

    Page Updated on Aug 2, 2023, Reviewed by Ramin Rayhan, DDS (Dentist) of Century Dental Center
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