Enamel is one of the most mineralized tissues that covers your teeth. Even though this tissue is very hard, the stress and strains it endures such as falling or a blow to the face can make it lose its strength. It can lead to chipping, cracking or breaking of the tooth.
Other common causes that cause a tooth to break are:
- Biting on something hard
- Accidents during sports
- Presence of untreated cavities and tooth decays.
- Old and large amalgam fillings.
A broken or a chipped tooth cannot necessarily cause pain. However, if the crack has reached the nerve, you can experience some discomfort sensation when taking hot and cold substances. Whether you’re in pain or not, you are recommended to visit a dentist who will check your tooth and provide the necessary treatment.
How to care for a chipped or broken tooth.
When you break your tooth, it is necessary to do some self-care measures that might prevent you from losing the tooth.
- If the tooth is bleeding, apply pressure on it using a wet tea bag.
- If there is too much pain in the tooth, you are advised to take acetaminophen or another (OTC) over-the-counter pain reliever. Then rinse your mouth with clean salty water.
- In case the breakage has caused the development of a sharp edge on the tooth remaining, cover it with wax paraffin or sugarless chewing gum. It will prevent it from piercing your tongue or the inside part of your cheek or lip.
- If you need to eat, take soft foods and try not to use the broken tooth.
Treatment for fractures and broken teeth
The treatment given to a broken tooth depends on how severe the damage was. One visit is enough if a small part of the enamel came off. For a more damaged tooth, it may require some lengthy and costly procedures to protect your teeth when engaging in sports and any might situation that may happen.
Below are solutions to chipped and broken tooth.
Dental Filling or Bonding
If only a small piece of the enamel came off, a filling is needed to fill the chipped part. This procedure is best for a tooth that isn’t visible when you smile. For the front teeth require a different treatment such as bonding. This procedure uses a tooth-colored component resin that is not visible when you smile.
When bonding a tooth, the dentist first applies some gel on the tooth to make it rough. He then puts some adhesive material on the tooth before placing a tooth-colored resin. He later shapes the bonding material to match with the tooth and uses ultraviolet light to harden it.
Dental Cap or Crown
If a large part of the tooth is chipped off or the tooth has a lot of tooth decay, the dentist may need to file away the remnants of the tooth and put a crown cover on it. This cover acts as protection and also improves the tooth appearance.
In case the whole tooth has is broken but the root is still intact, an endodontist (a dentist who specializes in the root structure) may perform some root canal therapy on the tooth. The dentist can place a post in the canal of the teeth on which he will build enough structure from which he can shape a crown. This procedure usually takes two office visits to the dentist.
Dental veneers is a thin shell of tooth-colored porcelain material used to cover the whole front part of the tooth. It can also be from resin composite. Dental Veneers covers the front part of the tooth giving it an impressive appearance. For a dentist to put a Dental Veneer on your tooth, he will take out around 0.3 to 1.2 millimeters of the enamel covering the tooth.
Root Canal Therapy
If a large part of the tooth chips off or a tooth cavity become too big, the pulp (the central part of the tooth which holds the nerves and blood vessels) may be exposed. It may lead to bacterial infection on this part of the teeth.
If you notice that your tooth pains from time to time, change the enamel color and it also becomes sensitive to heat, this is probably because the pulp tissue is damaged or diseased. Root canal therapy is a procedure used to remove the dead or damaged pulp, cleaning the root canal to prevent bacterial infection and sealing it.