What causes Tooth Breakage?
There are several major causes of tooth breakage. One obvious cause is through accidental injury, such as trauma suffered during sports or a car accident. Tooth decay can also weaken your tooth to the point where it fractures under very low stress. Teeth that contain many fillings are often more vulnerable than healthy teeth to fractures and breakage. Finally, Bite Disease and grinding or clenching of teeth can weaken them, causing them to break more easily.
What should be done about a Broken Tooth?
We advise our Weston area dental patients that there are three major types of tooth breakage, corresponding to the three different layers of the tooth:
• Enamel is the hard outer layer of the tooth. A break in this layer is primarily cosmetic, and should be treated by our Weston dental office in the near future. However, this type of breakage is not an emergency.
• Dentin is the middle protective layer under the enamel. A break in this level can be moderately painful, and can leave the tooth sensitive to temperatures. We advise our Weston area dental patients to take a painkiller and call our office to schedule an appointment within the next few days.
• Pulp is the soft, fleshy inner part of the tooth that contains the nerves. A break in this layer is often extremely painful, and causes bleeding. We advise our Weston area dental patients to take a painkiller (except for aspirin, which can increase bleeding), and to also call the office immediately for an emergency visit.
• Your entire tooth can also be knocked out. This is similar to a break that reaches to the pulp; it will cause bleeding and be very painful, and you should call our Weston dental office immediately for an emergency visit. However, if you are careful, it is possible to save the tooth. Recover the tooth, being careful not to touch the root. Put the tooth into a container of milk or carefully keep it in your mouth in your own saliva and bring it with you to our Weston dental office. Under these conditions, the tooth is likely to be successfully replanted if the procedure is done within one hour.
What is the treatment for a Broken Tooth?
Small chips can be polished out or filled at our Weston dental office. If the break reaches to the dentin, Dr. Pyle will add a temporary protective layer, but usually a restorative crown is required. Breaks that extend into the pulp often require a root canal and a crown. Whatever the level of breakage, be sure to contact our Weston area dental office as soon as possible so that your tooth can be repaired and saved.
How can Broken Teeth be prevented?
Mouth guards are an effective way of reducing the likelihood of tooth fractures during sporting events. Another way to prevent broken teeth is to keep your teeth healthy and strong with regular visits to our Weston area dental office so that we can work to eliminate any gum disease or tooth decay, and control Bite Disease. Finally, since teeth with fillings are more prone to breakage, allowing our Weston dental office to add a crown to these teeth strengthens them, making these teeth as strong or stronger as healthy, non-filled teeth.