Your teeth feature a hard, durable outer layer called enamel. This protection ensures you can bite and chew without worrying about harming the tooth in the process. But under extreme or abnormal pressure, a tooth could chip or crack.
In severe cases, you could suffer a fracture to your tooth. An injury like this will leave your tooth vulnerable to decay, infections, and other dental concerns. So make sure you seek urgent care from your dentist if you sustain this dental damage.
You can better take action in the event of this dental emergency when you know more about this injury. Read on to learn more about tooth fractures, including symptoms and ways your dentist can treat the problem.
Signs You Have a Fractured Tooth
You might see a visible crack or chip in your tooth if you sustain a tooth fracture. This breakage will deepen and worsen if you do not seek prompt attention from your dentist. And then you may notice dark discoloration develop around the injury.
Many people will primarily notice pain if they fracture a tooth. It could feel like a constant ache in the tooth that intensifies when biting or chewing. But the patient may also feel intermittent sharp pains.
Tooth sensitivity can occur with this type of dental injury because damage to the enamel will expose underlying nerves within the tooth. It is a signal that the protective layer is broken, and the sensitive interior of the tooth is at risk of further dental harm.
Along with pain, you might see swelling around the tooth or jaw with a tooth fracture. But sometimes, tooth breakage comes with no recognizable symptoms at all. But that does not mean that your smile is not in danger. Call your dentist right away if you suspect you suffered a dental injury.
Treatment Options for a Tooth Fracture
Your dentist will need to evaluate the extent of the damage from a tooth fracture in order to provide the right treatment to restore your oral health. A crack in the cusp, the visible part of the tooth above the gumline, might require a dental crown to treat. The ceramic cap will cover the surface of the tooth, shielding the injury.
If the fracture extends to the root of the tooth, you might need more extensive dental work to repair the damage. Root canal therapy can stop further damage to the tooth if the injury has just reached the tooth’s pulp.
In the event of a severe tooth fracture, the dentist might need to extract the tooth to prevent infection. However, sometimes a dentist may only have to remove part of the broken tooth, avoiding an extraction procedure.
To determine the best treatment option for your case, a dentist will use x-ray imaging to view the injury. Then you and your dentist can discuss the best course of action to both protect and enhance your smile and oral health.