What is a broken tooth?

A broken tooth or a chipped tooth commonly occurs as a result of severe trauma from strong biting and sports-related or other injury. The primary culprit of a broken or chipped tooth is tooth decay, which weakens the tooth and puts it at risk for cracks and breaks.

Consequences of a broken or chipped tooth

Intermittent or continuous pain is generally experienced during chewing or when the tooth is exposed to cold or heat. This is especially true if the crack from the broken tooth has affected the nerve root which is sensitive to pressure and extreme temperature. Another serious consequence of a broken or chipped tooth is that the tooth becomes vulnerable to infection.

What should you do if you have a broken tooth or chipped tooth?

If you suffer from a broken tooth, it is wise to save the tooth fragments, if possible. In case of bleeding, rinse the mouth and apply clean gauze to the affected area. Cold compresses and pain relievers can help lessen the inflammation and pain. Whatever the circumstances, be sure to visit your dentist right away to receive treatment and avoid any complications.

They require urgent dental care to address pain and prevent further damage or infection; however, the treatment varies depending on the nature and severity of the tooth damage. For example:

  • If only the surface of the tooth is broken and no pain is felt, the dentist may install a cap or crown as treatment and protection against further damage.
  • A tooth filling or dental bonding are also procedures that can restore the natural shape and structure of the broken tooth.
  • A tooth with damage extending to the pulp will require root canal treatment, but a break that extends to the gum line may make the tooth unsalvageable, requiring extraction.

How can I prevent broken or chipping teeth?

Broken teeth can be prevented using basic safety measures. First, practice good oral hygiene to prevent tooth decay and other conditions that can weaken the tooth. Avoid clenching or grinding your teeth, and do not chew on hard objects. If you plan to participate in contact sports or other hazardous activities, consider using a mouth guard or protective mask to protect your teeth.