How Serious Is a Broken Tooth?

Broken Tooth San Antonio, TX

A broken tooth might not seem like a big deal if it is only a minor break, but it still requires treatment. This is because broken teeth cause more damage than simply ruining the appearance of a person’s smile. The damage typically removes portions of the outer surface of teeth, called enamel, which protects the more delicate parts of the tooth. Enamel is the strongest part of the body, so not having it there to protect teeth leaves them more vulnerable to issues like tooth decay and infection.

Some broken teeth become so damaged emergency dental care is needed to provide pain relief and prevent infection. Any damage that leads to the pulp chamber (which houses a tooth’s blood vessels and nerves) becoming compromised typically counts as a dental emergency.

Dealing with a broken tooth

Here are a few factors that can lead to a broken tooth.

  • Tooth decay: Tooth decay is caused by acids created by bacteria that live in the mouth; these germs convert sugars in food particles into acids, which eat away at teeth structures, and teeth weakened by tooth decay have a higher risk of breaking.
  • Poor diet: Teeth can also weaken by a person’s diet; habits like consuming excess sugary foods and beverages or eating hard foods can weaken teeth structures or cause them to break.
  • Bite issues: Teeth that do not come together are more likely to break because the poor bite puts additional stress on some teeth.
  • Trauma: Getting hit in the face is another common way that people end up with a broken tooth; it can result from an accident, a slip, or contact from physical activities, so wearing protective gear like a mouthguard can help reduce the risk of teeth becoming damaged.
  • Teeth grinding: Habits like teeth grinding lead to the teeth being exposed to excessive bite forces as a person sleeps, which weakens them and can cause them to break.

Broken teeth can be classified into several categories to indicate their severity. Common classifications used by dentists include the following.

1. Chipped tooth

A chip refers to a minor break that typically only affects the outer layers of a tooth. Such injuries can be fixed with non-invasive treatments, such as composite bonding or enamel reshaping. Chipped teeth do not usually require emergency care, but they should be treated as soon as possible.

2. Craze line break

Craze lines refer to minor cracks that only affect the outer layer of a tooth. Such damage can typically be fixed by polishing the tooth.

3. Cusp Break

A cusp break refers to damage that affects a tooth’s biting surface. Failing to fix such damage can lead to other parts of the tooth, such as the roots, becoming damaged.

4. Severe break

A break is classified as severe when it leaves the pulp chamber compromised. It typically requires root canal therapy and a crown to address.

Treatments for a broken tooth

Each patient's viable treatment options vary depending on the type of injury or damage and their current health status. However, in most cases, broken teeth require dental restoration. There are a variety of dental restorations for damaged, worn down, or broken teeth, including:

  • Fillings: amalgam (silver), composite, acrylic, porcelain
  • Crowns: tooth-colored caps that cover or replace missing and damaged teeth
  • Composite Bonding: composite material bonded to a broken or chipped tooth
  • Veneers: tooth-colored porcelain shells attached to the front of a broken or otherwise damaged tooth

Whether or not dental restorations are right for a patient is decided on a case-by-case basis. Our team will consider numerous factors, such as the type, location, and extent of the damage. In most cases, however, direct dental restorations are adequate treatments for anyone with localized dental problems such as cavities. Those with inadequate tooth structure or extensive damage may require an indirect restoration.

Care and maintenance

Dental restorations require ongoing care and maintenance in order to keep them functioning as normal teeth and can typically last for 10 to 15 years. Care and maintenance recommendations depend on the type of dental restoration. If they are permanent in the mouth, you should brush and floss like natural teeth. Whether you have permanent or temporary dental restorations, it is important to maintain regular dental appointments — at least twice yearly.

Get the treatment you need

Dental restorations can bring your smile back. Whether you have a broken, worn down, chipped, or otherwise damaged tooth, we can discuss your options. Call or visit our San Antonio clinic to set up an appointment with our dentist and fix your broken tooth before it causes other issues.

Request an appointment here: https://www.allsmilesdentalcenter.com or call All Smiles Dental Center at (210) 714-7429 for an appointment in our San Antonio office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Broken Tooth in San Antonio, TX.

Recent Posts

Oral Hygiene Basics: What Are Tartar And Plaque?

Although many people believe that plaque and tartar are the same, they actually have significant differences. Understanding the distinctions between these two dental conditions can help you identify their warning signs and practice oral hygiene basics to avoid them.Plaque is a soft film containing millions of bacteria that build up on your teeth, gums, and…

General Dentistry: 4 Daily Habits For Your Oral Health Recommended By A Dentist

Practicing good oral hygiene is essential to keeping your teeth strong. From using the correct oral care products to seeking a general dentist regularly, there are plenty of steps you can take to achieve a healthy smile. Here are four daily habits that you should implement into your daily routine.Brushing your teeth is one of…

Oral Hygiene Basics: What Drinks You Should Avoid

When it comes to oral hygiene basics, you probably think that changing the foods that you consume can strengthen your teeth. However, drinks actually have a large impact on your teeth because the traces of particles stay behind long after you have finished drinking. Here are the drinks that you should avoid to maintain a…

Oral Hygiene Basics: Bad Habits To Avoid

Having a firm understanding of oral hygiene basics can prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and general oral discomfort. Human beings go through life developing a range of habits that impact oral health, some of which are good and some of which are bad. Avoiding these damaging behaviors promotes strong teeth and gums that can last…

Recent Posts

Oral Hygiene Basics: What Are Tartar And Plaque?

Oral Hygiene Basics: What Are Tartar And Plaque?

Although many people believe that plaque and tartar are the same, they actually have significant differences. Understanding the distinctions between these two dental conditions can help you identify their warning signs and practice oral hygiene basics to avoid them.Plaque is a soft film containing millions of bacteria that build up on your teeth, gums, and…

General Dentistry:   Daily Habits For Your Oral Health Recommended By A Dentist

General Dentistry: 4 Daily Habits For Your Oral Health Recommended By A Dentist

Practicing good oral hygiene is essential to keeping your teeth strong. From using the correct oral care products to seeking a general dentist regularly, there are plenty of steps you can take to achieve a healthy smile. Here are four daily habits that you should implement into your daily routine.Brushing your teeth is one of…