Broken Tooth?

July 29, 2022


Teeth can fracture and break just like other bones in your body.

How do teeth break?

There are 5 classifications of a broken or fractured tooth. Crazed lines, Fractured Cusp, Treatable Cracked Tooth, Split Tooth and Vertical Root Fracture. Learn more about these on our Cracked Teeth info page.

There are many different causes for a cracked tooth.

  • An untreated cavity can weaken the tooth, making it more susceptible to damage.
  • Facial or mouth trauma.
  • Biting on a hard object can cause surface cracks that can lead to more serious fractures.
  • Grinding your teeth or clenching your teeth too hard.

How to tell if you have a broken or fractured tooth.

Tooth fractures and cracks can present as normal toothaches. Here are a few indications that your tooth is suffering from a more serious injury.

  • Pain from the release of biting pressure. Chewing will cause the break to shift and in doing so, irritate the pulp inside the tooth. When the biting pressure is released, the tooth returns to it’s original position and damage the pulp.
  • Pain from chewing. A broken or fractured tooth will not behave like a strong, sturdy tooth. Chewing can irritate the exposed nerves inside your tooth that are near the damage.
  • Temperature sensitivity: The exposed or irritated nerves in your broken tooth will make your tooth more sensitive to temperature. If you have tooth pain from drinking hot or cold drinks, tell your dentist.

As the injury worsens over time the symptoms usually become more persistent and the damage more extensive.

Temporary pain management tips.

You know your tooth is broken, what do you do next? First, you need to see a dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, here are a few things you do to manage any pain or discomfort you might be feeling.

  • Rinse your mouth with warm water.
  • Use a cold pack or some ice to reduce swelling.
  • Take a pain reliever.

Again, these measures are temporary. The sooner you can get to a dentist the better.

How do we fix a broken tooth?

Endodontists are more than just root canal specialists. We help patients recover from serious tooth injuries.

Endodontic therapy is often considered if the fracture begins or reaches the root of your tooth. With our technology we can more clearly see the problem and help your dentist determine the best options for your specific situation.

Thanks for reading! James A. Penney, III, DDS, PA Endodontics is dedicated to helping you keep your beautiful, healthy smile.