A fractured tooth can be a distressing experience, whether caused by trauma, decay, or biting into a hard object. While a broken tooth may seem minor and cause minimal discomfort, it is crucial not to underestimate the potential consequences of leaving a fractured tooth untreated. It is essential to note that a cracked tooth can vary in severity and treatment options.
If you suspect a cracked tooth, you must visit your dentist immediately for a thorough evaluation and appropriate treatment. Early intervention can help preserve the tooth and prevent further complications.
A Fractured Tooth Increases The Risk of Infection
One of the primary concerns with untreated fractured teeth is the heightened risk of infection. When a tooth fractures, the protective enamel layer is compromised, exposing the tooth’s inner layers to bacteria in the mouth. Over time, these bacteria can penetrate deeper into the tooth, leading to infection in the pulp chamber and root canals.
Progression of Tooth Decay
A fractured tooth provides additional nooks and crannies for accumulating bacteria, making it more susceptible to tooth decay. The cracks and crevices in the tooth’s structure can trap food particles and plaque, leading to the development of cavities. Left untreated, these cavities can progress deeper into the tooth, compromising its structural integrity and potentially affecting neighbouring teeth.
Heightened Sensitivity and Discomfort From a Cracked Tooth
Untreated fractured teeth can become increasingly sensitive to temperature changes, biting pressure, or sweet or acidic food exposure. The damaged tooth structure can expose the nerves and dentin, causing heightened sensitivity and discomfort. The sensitivity may progress over time, making it difficult to enjoy certain foods and beverages and impacting daily activities such as chewing.
Risk of Tooth Loss
A fractured tooth is at a higher risk of further damage and potential loss if left untreated. The tooth’s structural integrity can be compromised, leading to cracks spreading or pieces breaking off. In severe cases, the tooth may become irreparable and require extraction. Losing a tooth can have significant consequences for oral health, including potential shifting of adjacent teeth, bite misalignment, and jawbone deterioration.
Functional and Aesthetic Concerns
A fractured tooth can affect your ability to chew and speak properly, affecting your oral function. Additionally, the appearance of a fractured tooth can have aesthetic implications, leading to self-consciousness and a negative impact on your smile’s appearance and confidence.
Types of Cracked Teeth
- Fractured Cusp: A fractured cusp occurs when a portion of the tooth’s chewing surface (the cusp) breaks off. This crack typically doesn’t extend beyond the enamel and is often painless. Treatment usually involves a dental crown to restore the tooth’s shape and protect it from further damage.
- Cracked Tooth (Treatable): A cracked tooth is a crack that extends vertically from the chewing surface toward the root but does not separate the tooth into two pieces. Symptoms may include pain when biting or sensitivity to temperature changes. Treatable cracked teeth can often be saved with a dental crown or bonding, which helps prevent the crack from spreading and restores functionality.
- Cracked Tooth (Non-Treatable): A crack can sometimes extend deep into the tooth, reaching the root or splitting it into separate segments. Unfortunately, these cracks are often non-treatable, and the tooth may need to be extracted to prevent further damage or infection. Dental implants, bridges, or dentures may be recommended to replace the lost tooth.
- Split Tooth: A split tooth is a more severe condition that occurs when a cracked tooth is left untreated, causing the tooth to separate into distinct parts. It is often accompanied by significant pain and may require extraction. However, if a portion of the tooth can be saved, root canal treatment may be considered, followed by a dental crown or other restorative options.
The Importance of Treating a Cracked Tooth
To prevent potential complications and preserve oral health, seeking prompt dental care for a fractured tooth is crucial. Dentists have the expertise and tools to assess the extent of the fracture, determine the appropriate treatment plan, and provide timely repairs to restore the tooth’s strength, functionality, and aesthetics.
Remember, a fractured tooth should never be ignored, as early intervention can help prevent further damage, infection, and potential tooth loss.
When treating fractured or broken teeth, seeking professional dental care is paramount. The consequences of leaving a fractured tooth untreated can be significant, ranging from increased infection risk to tooth loss and functional concerns.
At Amazing Smiles, we understand how a fractured tooth can impact your oral health and overall well-being. Our skilled restorative dentists possess advanced expertise in repairing broken teeth, ensuring they are functional and aesthetically pleasing. With a focus on restorative dental treatments, we are committed to helping our patients regain their confidence and achieve natural-looking, long-lasting results.
If you have a fractured or broken tooth, don’t hesitate to inquire at Amazing Smiles and discover our exceptional restorative dental solutions. Take the first step towards a healthy, beautiful smile by contacting our experienced team today.