Health and Fitness

What Are The Options To Repair A Broken Tooth?

A broken tooth can be a painful and nightmarish situation for people. It can break your confidence and make you conscious while talking, smiling, or eating. Apart from the psychological trauma, a broken tooth can also cause mouth pain depending on the fracture’s severity. Let us have a look on what are the broken tooth repair options.

How Does A Tooth Break?

Did you know? The enamel (the shell that covers and protects your teeth) is your body’s strongest and hardest tissue. That being said, it is not completely unbreakable. A heavy blow or impact can cause the enamel to crack or break.

Not all broken teeth are dental emergencies. For example, if the tooth has only slightly chipped from the surface, it may not cause immediate pain. However, a hard break or a crack that has reached the nerve may cause pain while chewing or make the tooth extra sensitive to hot or cold foods.

All cracks, big or small, should be shown to a dentist who shall provide necessary treatments to avoid further decay.

A broken tooth is likely to affect us at any age. However, for several reasons, children and the elderly are most likely to be affected by broken teeth.

What Are The Causes Of A Broken Tooth During Childhood?

Kids are carefree, energetic, and playful. However, this exciting energy also makes them prone to accidents. Playing, running, and indulging in risky activities can make the kid fall on their face and break their precious teeth.

Some common causes for broken teeth in kids are –

  • Motor skills not fully developed

Kids, especially those under 2, still learn and develop their motor skills. So, while learning to walk, run or move around, they may fall quite a bit and end up breaking or chipping their milk teeth.

  • Sports activities

Kids generally indulge in extra-curricular sports like football, cricket, basketball, boxing, skating, etc., which can cause them to fall or get hit a lot, ultimately leading to broken teeth.

  • Biting hard/candied foods

Biting into hard foods like candy, popcorn kernels, or other hard foods can also cause strain on kids’ delicate milk teeth, causing them to break.

  • Thrill-seeking teenage behavior

Teenagers are attracted to rash, risky behaviors that can bring them some thrill. If their idea of a thrill is driving fast vehicles, getting into fist fights, etc., they are likelier to have a broken tooth.

What Are The Causes Of A Broken Tooth Among Adults And The Elderly?

Adults, especially the elderly, can also get their teeth broken. Some causes for a broken tooth in adults are –

  • Age

With age, the enamel covering your teeth weakens, leaving your teeth vulnerable to fractures from eating hard foods, medium impact blows, etc.

  • Poor dental hygiene

Poor oral health, including not brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, not getting periodic dental check-ups, leaving cavities unattended, etc., can make your teeth susceptible to breakage.

  • Accidents

Bike/car accidents, sports injuries, falling, etc., can sometimes have a heavy blow on the mouth and lead to broken teeth.

  • Periodontitis

An advanced stage of gingivitis, periodontitis can weaken the gums over time and leave them unable to support the teeth. As a result, it can cause the teeth to wobble and be prone to fractures.

What Are The Signs You Have A Broken Tooth?

There are some common tell-all signs of a broken tooth. Some of them are explained below –

  • Experiencing tooth pain while chewing or biting
  • Sudden sensitivity to hot or cold foods
  • On and off pain in the tooth
  • Swelling around a particular tooth
  • Bleeding around the broken tooth

What Are The Treatment Options For A Broken Tooth?

At La Jolla, porcelain crowns and veneers treatment are popular options to fix a fractured tooth, depending on the severity of the damage. Your dentist will first run a thorough evaluation of your teeth, ask for your dental history and probe you about the symptoms you are experiencing.

Depending on the results, they might prescribe veneers, crowns, or one of the following treatment procedures:

  • Veneers

Veneers are prescribed when the front tooth is broken or chipped and causes only cosmetic damage. A veneer will improve the tooth’s cosmetic appearance and make it look new. They are colored covers or shells for the tooth. They are usually porcelain or composite resin covering the natural tooth from the front, giving it a natural and healthy appearance.

  • Crowns

If a significant part of a tooth has broken off and you feel pain while biting, chewing, or drinking, your dentist might suggest fitting a crown over the broken tooth. A crown is simply a strong cap that covers and protects a broken tooth and ensures you don’t lose your tooth. Crowns are made from metal, resin, porcelain, or a mix of these. Pure metal crowns, however, are the strongest.

  • Bonding or Fillings

In case of minor chipping on the tooth’s surface, your dentist may repair the damage with bonding or filling, which involves filling the gap with a composite resin. In this procedure, the dentist will first roughen the tooth’s surface, apply some gel, and then stick the composite resin to it. Then, they will shape and harden the bonding material to look and feel like a tooth with the help of ultraviolet light.

  • Root canal

If the crack in your tooth has deepened to the pulp, it might be time for a root canal procedure. A root canal can be painful if not performed correctly. It involves removing the damaged/infected pulp and replacing it with a plastic filling. A crown fitting usually follows a root canal procedure.

  • Extraction and dental implants

If the fracture has extended beyond the gums, the tooth is unsalvageable. In such cases, the entire tooth will need to be extracted, and a dental implant is inserted inside the jawbone through surgery. Once the area is healed, a crown may be attached to it.

If you or your child has a broken tooth, do not panic. Instead, book an appointment with your dentist and get a suitable procedure done. In the meantime, to reduce the pain, you can also try applying an ice pack to reduce swelling, rinsing your mouth with salt water, avoiding chewing from the broken tooth, and avoiding eating hard foods that might further aggravate the pain.

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