Do You Need to Fix a Broken Tooth—Even If It Isn’t Painful?

Broken teeth can show up in many different ways. Your tooth may be broken horizontally and be visibly broken. However, tooth fractures are not always so apparent. A broken tooth could have a break on the cusp that may not be noticeable, or a vertical break that can’t be seen with the naked eye.

Teeth are very sturdy and not meant to break. However, sports injuries, falls, accidents, and chewing on ice or inedible objects can cause teeth to break. If a tooth is already injured or has been damaged in the past—such as a tooth with a filling—it is more at risk to break.

Although broken teeth don’t always initially cause pain, they almost always require treatment. Here’s why you should always pursue treatment for a broken tooth, even if it is not initially painful.

Damage Can Worsen Over Time

Broken teeth may not cause discomfort after the initial injury. As such, you may not think your tooth requires further treatment.

Although you may not feel or see the break getting worse, a broken tooth can lead to oral health problems in the future. You may experience tooth sensitivity or start to have a toothache. In many cases with broken teeth, the crack or fracture allows bacteria to cause an infection in the nerve tissue inside the tooth, which can require root canal therapy to fix [1].

In some cases, if the bacteria and infection has caused a tooth abscess, the damage may be too severe and warrant a tooth extraction. Broken teeth are also weakened, meaning they can be more susceptible to other types of damage. For example, the break can even get worse over time with consistent chewing, biting, or teeth grinding. Fixing your broken tooth as soon as it happens stops the damage from getting worse and may even save your tooth.

Broken Teeth Can Wear Unevenly

If you have a tooth that’s been broken off, it may cause the rest of your teeth to wear unevenly. When a tooth has been broken off so badly that it affects your bite, it may cause your teeth to fit together differently.

Over time, the neighboring teeth compensate for the broken tooth and may begin to wear unevenly [2]. Your bite could also change, which can cause jaw issues or soreness that weren’t there before.

A severely broken tooth that impacts your natural tooth wear or bite should be fixed as soon as possible to preserve your bite and prevent discomfort.

Do You Have a Broken Tooth?

If you have a broken tooth or suspect that you have broken your tooth, don’t wait to get it evaluated and treated by your dentist. A broken tooth may need a simple dental bonding procedure or crown to repair rather than the root canal or extraction you could need if you wait.

Sources:
1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3870147/
2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1013905219306571

Summary
Do You Need to Fix a Broken Tooth—Even If It Isn’t Painful?
Article Name
Do You Need to Fix a Broken Tooth—Even If It Isn’t Painful?
Description
Although broken teeth don’t always initially cause pain, they almost always require treatment. Here’s why you should always pursue treatment for a broken tooth, even if it is not initially painful.
Author
Lansdowne Dental Associates