If you have a chipped tooth, the situation may be more serious than dealing with a cosmetic problem. Indeed, having this kind of tooth damage can be embarrassing and make you want to avoid being around other people. However, the implications can run deeper than what people can see in your smile. Untreated, a chip…
Why You Should Get a Broken Tooth Treated
If you have a broken tooth, it may not necessarily be a dental emergency. In the absence of pain, excessive bleeding, or a tooth that is knocked out completely, you can schedule an appointment at your convenience and do not need to see the dentist immediately.
In most cases, broken teeth can be caused by an unexpected blow to the face, biting down on something hard, or eating chewy candy. Sometimes, the tooth may already be weak and break at the sight of a cavity. However, even if your broken tooth is not an emergency, that does not mean you can ignore it completely. It is still a dental problem that needs treatment, so you should still call your dentist as soon as possible to schedule an appointment for evaluation and discussion of a treatment plan.
5 reasons to treat a broken tooth
A broken tooth may start out as a relatively minor problem. In the case of smaller breaks, you may not even feel much pain in that area. However, it could be a sign of more serious issues, which is why you should have it treated in a timely fashion. Here are some specific reasons to seek treatment.
1. The tooth may be susceptible to further damage
When a piece of a tooth breaks off, what remains becomes unstable. It may have some extensive decay that made it more susceptible to breaking in the first place. If you do not change your eating or chewing habits at all, the unstable portion of the tooth that remains is subjected to pressures that it may not be able to withstand. Eventually, more of the tooth may break away.
2. You may have to have more extensive treatment
If the first break is just a chip, it may be possible to fix it with a filling or by bonding. These are relatively minor, comparatively inexpensive procedures. If the damage is allowed to progress, it may require more extensive treatment, such as a crown or a root canal. Such treatments usually require considerable healing time and also tend to be more costly.
3. You may lose the tooth completely
If you get your broken tooth treated right away, the chances of the dentist being able to save it are much better. However, the longer you wait and the more damaged the tooth becomes, there may be no treatments available to restore it, and the only option may be to extract it. If the tooth broke cleanly, take the fractured section with you to the dentist so he or she can examine the area of breakage, as there may be a chance of repair. Losing the entire tooth may affect other teeth in that same area and they may shift, causing jaw pain.
4. You may have serious pain
The original fracture to your tooth may not have hurt at all. You may not even have realized what happened until you felt something small and hard floating around in your mouth. However, if you do not get it treated right away and it breaks further, the next fracture could cause extreme pain. In the case of some breaks, the nerve underneath may become exposed, causing serious sensitivity or pain while eating and drinking.
Even if the tooth itself is not painful, there may be a sharp edge on your tooth where it broke. This may cut soft tissues in your mouth, such as the tongue or the inside of the cheeks. This can cause bleeding and be very uncomfortable. A broken tooth can even affect the way you speak, especially if the sharp edge of the break makes consistent contact with the tongue.
5. There may be other teeth that need treatment
If one of your teeth breaks due to severe decay, chances are good that others are similarly damaged. When you go for treatment of your broken tooth, the dentist can evaluate the others and recommend treatment that may prevent further fractures, such as filling cavities or adding crowns to damaged teeth to prevent future breakage.
A broken tooth may not be an emergency that requires immediate attention. Small fractures may not even cause you much pain, but over time, you may continue to lose pieces of the affected tooth while eating or drinking, which can widen the area around the break. You can prevent this by having your tooth checked out in a timely fashion.
Request an appointment here: https://www.leedentistryoxford.com or call Lee Family and Cosmetic Dentistry at (662) 546-1143 for an appointment in our Oxford office.
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