Fractures can occur for many reasons such as biting down on something hard or as a result of facial injury. They can also occur as a result of an underlying illness such as infection, which can weaken the tooth and cause it to crack. Maintaining a good level of oral hygiene and making regular trips to the dentist can prevent the teeth fracturing as a result of decay and infection. There are many different types of fracture, some more serious than others. Surface cracks and small chips are usually nothing to worry about, as they only affect the outer enamel and can be treated simply. Below are details of what to do about more serious fractures.
If the crack is spotted early by your dentist, it can simply be filled in or restored using another method. However, if the crack is left, it can get infected and damage the tooth pulp meaning more complicated dental work will need to be done. As soon as you notice a deep crack in your tooth you should get an emergency dental appointment, as the sooner the crack is treated, the less likely it will get infected.
If you break a tooth badly, the blood supply and nerves are often left exposed which is not only extremely painful, but also means the tooth will bleed. You need emergency dental straight away, and the dentist will need to perform root canal surgery to prevent infection before putting a crown on the tooth. The tooth will technically be dead, but can be filled with neutral matter and treated as if it were healthy.
A split tooth often means that the roots have been damaged as well as the crown of the tooth. When the roots split, they cause severe pain and are at high risk of infection. Depending on how bad the damage is, the dentist may be able to rescue the tooth with a crown. However, the tooth may need to be extracted which relieves the pain and prevents infection to other teeth.
What to do before you get to the Dentist
You should take some over-the-counter painkillers to ease the pain, but make sure they do not include aspirin if you are bleeding, and always tell the dentist what you have taken. Holding a cold compress to your face may help too. If a large piece of your tooth has chipped off, keep hold of it as the dentist may be able to cement it back into place.