Even though the teeth are very strong, a broken tooth is a common problem most people experience. It can hurt to break, crack or chip a tooth. Your teeth can be damaged in many ways. The damage can either be extensive or slight depending on the type of injury and the condition of your teeth. Unless the damage is a minor chip, it is recommended to visit your dentist as soon as you can for a permanent solution. Your dentist will determine the most ideal way to fix it.
Repairing a broken tooth
The enamel that covers a person’s teeth is the hardest and most mineralized tissue in the body. But its strength has limits. The teeth can break or chip due to several reasons. These include falling, biting down on something hard or receiving a blow to the face. Cavities can also weaken the tooth and increase the chances of it breaking. A person who has chipped or broken a tooth should not panic.
There are several things a dentist can do to fix the tooth. Treatment for a chipped or broken tooth will depend mainly on the severity of the damage. For a broken tooth, a person should see the dentist as soon as possible. The dentist can determine if the break was caused by a cavity and if the nerve of the tooth is in danger. In many cases, a damaged nerve will need root canal treatment.
Root canal therapy
If a tooth chip or break is large enough that it exposes the pulp, bacteria from the mouth can end up entering and infecting the pulp. The pulp lies in the center of the tooth and it contains blood vessels and nerves. If the tooth hurts, is insensitive to heat or changes color, the pulp may be diseased or damaged. Pulp tissue can die and if it is not removed, a person’s tooth can become infected and may need to be extracted.
Root canal therapy can be recommended for a broken tooth. It will involve removing the dead pulp, cleaning the root canal and then eventually sealing it. Root canal therapy can be performed by endodontists or general dentists. The root canal procedure has become more common and is far less painful than it once was. It is often no more painful than having a cavity filled. In many cases, the remaining tooth has to be covered with a dental crown to help protect the now-weakened tooth.
It can be painful to break or chip a tooth. But many chips or cracks are not serious and may need minimal or no treatment. However, the ideal way to protect your teeth is to see your dentist to make sure. In the meantime, you should keep your mouth clean, reduce swelling and protect your mouth from jagged edges with wax. If your tooth was knocked out, it is always advisable to see your dentist within 30 minutes. Seeing the dentist immediately is also recommended if you have excessive pain or bleeding.
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