Tooth enamel withstands tremendous pressure for biting and chewing because it’s one of the hardest materials in your body. At the same time, trauma from a sports injury, fall or car accident can cause a cracked, chipped or broken tooth. Sometimes you feel pain right away from a broken tooth, but it depends on the kind of fracture that it is. Either way, the damage must be fixed before it worsens. Call your Queens dentistry office as soon as possible for treatment.
A broken tooth can be very painful. Dental damage of any kind can cause bacteria to build in the exposed pulp of the broken tooth. Dangerous infections may result. If left untreated, an abscess may form and spread throughout your jaw and the rest of your body.
Broken tooth pain that requires broken tooth repair also interferes with your ability to bite, chew and smile. Your teeth may shift, causing crooked front teeth that eventually need straightening. If you experience a break, place the broken piece in saline or milk until you arrive at your family dentist’s office in Queens, if you can safely do it. Call CitiDental as soon as you notice a crack in a tooth to get it treated promptly.
Common Causes for Cracked Tooth Repair
Wear and tear from previous dental procedures, rigorous chewing, teeth grinding and accidents can lead to a fractured or cracked tooth. Your Queens dentist sees a range of broken tooth pain causes, including cracks and breaks related to:
- Disintegration of old tooth fillings made with silver-colored amalgam, a material not strong enough to support your teeth indefinitely
- Untreated tooth decay and cavities that weaken the tooth structure
- Hitting your face or jaw in a fall
- A blow to your jaw bone that results in a crack or chip
- Root canals that leave teeth brittle and weak
- Biting hard substances such as hard candy or ice
- Crooked front teeth biting awkwardly down on teeth on the opposite side of the mouth
- Exposing teeth to extreme temperature variations, like when you eat something hot and then immediately drink ice water afterward
- Uneven pressure while chewing with crooked front teeth
Cracked Tooth vs. Broken Tooth
You usually notice a broken tooth pretty quickly. But diagnosing a cracked tooth yourself is more difficult. According to the American Dental Association: “A crack may appear as a hairline fracture, running vertically along the tooth. It often is invisible to the eye and may not show even on an X-ray.” You may not even be able to tell if the cracked tooth pain comes from a lower or upper tooth.
You may not be able to see it, but you surely will feel the pain, especially when it’s hit with cold air or a hot drink. Help your family dentist identify the source of your pain by clearly explaining what makes the cracked tooth pain worsen. Does it get worse, for example, when you:
- Eat or drink cold or hot food and liquids?
- Bite into sour, sweet or sticky foods?
- Chew vigorously?
The crack expands when your chew, and as you close your mouth, the pain usually sharpens. Blood vessels and nerves deep in the tooth’s pulp become exposed, so that when air and food touch it, you feel it. You may need a root canal if the tooth’s root becomes infected, so you need to get to your Queens restorative dentistry center as soon as you notice any new, sharp pain.
Broken Tooth Pain and Cracked Tooth Pain
Broken tooth pain doesn’t always hit you right away. While you know you were injured, it may take a while before the nerves become so exposed that they react to pressure or exposure. If the break is extensive, nerve endings that lie in the dentin, just underneath the top enamel of the tooth, are immediately exposed, leading to substantial broken tooth pain.
A cracked tooth, on the other hand, usually doesn’t hit you with that kind of searing pain you get from a broken tooth. Instead, the pain may be intermittent. Constant dull or throbbing pain still is possible when you have a cracked tooth. It’s just better to rely on your dentist for confirmation, so you can get the appropriate treatment.
Broken Tooth Repair and Cracked Tooth Repair
It’s possible that very small tooth cracks won’t need any special treatment. But tooth bonding with resin may be necessary for a cracked tooth repair to alleviate your pain. Worse case, if cracked tooth repair isn’t feasible, the tooth may need to be pulled.
Broken tooth repair often can be accomplished by gluing the tooth pieces you were able to recover back into place. If you don’t have the missing piece or the remnants are too small, the tooth still can be rebuilt with a composite resin or at least covered with a crown. You still may need a root canal too, if the nerve becomes exposed.