Maybe you fell face first into a chair. Perhaps you were chewing on that last, stubborn, unpopped popcorn kernel. Maybe someone elbowed your drinking glass into your mouth at a party. Or possibly your teeth are just showing the wear and tear normal for their age. In any case, now you have a broken tooth, and you’re wondering what to do about it. Luckily, the doctors at Penn Dental Family Practice are here to save the day, and do everything possible to rescue your tooth.
Your tooth is made up of three layers, the enamel on the outside, the dentin underneath, and the pulp at the center of the tooth. A broken tooth may have cracks only in the outer surface, the enamel, or it may have a fracture that penetrates the entire tooth. Cracks, even microscopic ones, can cause pain when chewing, or when exposed to hot or cold temperatures. The crack, when opened by force or thermal changes, can expose and irritate the nerves in the pulp.
Your tooth may be severely broken, or it may just be chipped. You’ll need to see a dentist to determine exactly what sort of damage has been done, and what the best course of treatment is. Some ways your tooth might be broken include:
This means that your tooth has cracked from the root up, below the gum line.
There are several options for treating a broken tooth, and your dentist will be able to advise you about the possibilities based on x-rays and examination or your tooth’s condition. Your doctor may recommend:
If you or someone you know has broken a tooth, it is important to get treatment as soon as possible. For more information, or to schedule an appointment with a Penn Dentist, call 215-898-PDFP.