Break A Tooth? Here’s What You Should Do!

Excerpt: When teeth break it can result in a varying degree of other problems. You might not even...

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When teeth break it can result in a varying degree of other problems. You might not even feel a tooth break, but you will most likely either feel the piece or pieces that broke of, or you could feel the sharp edge created by the fracture.

Why did my tooth break?

Enamel is the substance that protects the inner structures of your teeth from exposure and infection. Everyone’s enamel is different, some factors include: genetics, oral care, diet. Some common causes of a fractured tooth include:
 
  • Biting on hard objects, such as ice or hard candies.
  • Trauma resulting from accidents of physical contact.
  • Grinding your teeth (bruxism).

What factors increase the Risk Of Breaking A Tooth?

There is a lot you can do to attempt to prevent a tooth from breaking, these actions will help to prevent the tooth from breaking:
 
  • Better oral care – Oral care keeps teeth strong and healthy.
  • Tooth decay – Cavities directly impact the enamel, if you have any, they should be treated.
  • Acidic foods – Acid will negatively impact your enamel, try to eat less acidic foods.
  • Eating disorders and/or alcohol use – Vomiting can bring stomach acid in contact with teeth. 
  • Eat less sugary and carb-rich foods – Sugar can increase the acid in your mouth.
  • Age – Teeth wear out over time, you need to be more vigilant as you get older.
 

Which teeth are most at risk for breaking?

It will depend on your specific situation, but in general, the tooth most prone to breaking is the second lower molar. This is mainly due to the amount of chewing it does.

How can you diagnose a chipped tooth?

Broken teeth can be tricky to diagnose by a patient, they may be immediately noticeable, or not at all. Depending on the severity and location of the break, here are some ways you can diagnose a fracture:
 
  • Feeling a jagged surface.
  • Local irritation of the gums.
  • Pain from the tooth when biting or chewing.
 
A dentist can also double check your suspicion by looking at the tooth directly, they should be able to tell if a break has occurred or not.

How Is A Chipped Or Broken Tooth Treated?

The type of treatment rendered will depend on how bad the tooth broke and the location of the break:

Tooth reattachment

If a tooth falls out and you still have pieces of it, keep these pieces in milk if you have it. If not, keep it in the water. An alternative would also be tucking it in your gum as long as you know you won’t swallow it.

Bonding

Bonding teeth involves cementing composite resin or porcelain fillings to the part of the tooth that is broken. Once inserted, the material used will be shaped to the tooth it’s attached to.

Porcelain veneer

Veneers are great if the break occurs on the front of the tooth. Part of the enamel will be shaved down, and an impression will be made. Afterward, the impression will be sent to a lab and a veneer will be made-to-order. A temporary veneer will be placed until the permanent one is able to be inserted.

Onlays

If part of the top of the tooth is fractured, an onlay may be recommended. This is because a onlay only bonds part of the tooth. A mold of your tooth will be made for the lab, and an onlay will be created from that mold. Once it is received, the dentist will insert it on the affected tooth.

Dental crown

A crown is useful for fractures at the top of the tooth. Similar to an onlay, the impression will be sent to a lab, the lab will then make the crown. Once the crown is received it will be cemented to the tooth.

Dental Extraction

If the client can’t afford the recommended treatment, or the break is too severe and the extra pieces weren’t kept, it can be extracted.

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