Broken teeth are never enjoyable, however, one of the most frequent dental emergencies is a shattered tooth.
The severity of breaks can vary from little chips to whole fractures. In addition to being painful, a broken tooth typically needs immediate dental care.
If one of your molars fractures at or below the gum line, make an immediate appointment with your dentist.
Visit an emergency room if it occurs when you can’t see your dentist.
Learn what to do and why it might have happened if one of your teeth breaks off at the gum line in the following paragraphs.
✅ Visit your dentist right away if one of your teeth fractures below the gum line.
✅ Your dentist might be able to salvage your tooth in some circumstances.
✅ Your chances of saving the tooth increase with the speed of action.
✅ Essential quick action also reduces your chance of getting an infection.
What signs might point to a broken tooth?
You may be able to feel the missing portion of your teeth with your tongue if your molar fractures at the gum line. The jagged and sharp edge of the final piece may still be felt in your gum.
Visual examination of your mouth will probably reveal that your tooth is shattered. However, without the specialized equipment and lighting that a dentist has access to, it could be challenging for you to view your molar.
If you can see the shattered tooth, the exposed dentin and pulp inside your tooth may make it appear yellow or pink. It could be a sign of tooth decay if it is dark brown or black in color. Additionally, injuries on your gums or tongue or broken blood vessels inside the tooth may cause you to taste blood.
There is a good chance that the exposed nerve roots will cause you pain if the inner pulp is revealed. Sometimes, a fractured tooth may not even cause any pain, or it may cause waves of discomfort. The tongue or surrounding gum tissue may become inflamed as a result of scraping against the tooth’s sharp edges.
Foods and beverages that are cold or sweet will probably make you hurt.
Next, what should I do?
Visit your dentist as soon as you can for any dental emergencies, including a damaged tooth. The sooner your dentist can inspect your teeth, the higher the likelihood that the procedure will go well and without issues.
There’s a considerable probability that the damage is severe enough to necessitate extraction if your molar is fractured below the gum line.
You can also try calling local dental offices to see if they can fit you in if you’re traveling and don’t have access to your family dentist. The majority of dentists build time into their schedules to handle emergencies. Visit the emergency room if you can’t get an appointment at the dental clinic.
How do you fix a broken molar?
Subgingival fractures are teeth that have broken below the gum line. The extent of the damage and how promptly you seek treatment will determine whether your tooth can be salvaged. To be able to heal your fractured tooth, your dentist may need to recontour your bone through a process known as crown lengthening.
Your dentist might be able to fuse your broken tooth back together if you can locate the individual pieces. But if the damage goes below your gum line, an extraction will probably be necessary.
Reattaching the shattered piece
In some circumstances, it can be possible to repair the fractured tooth. However, bonding your tooth back together gets more difficult the deeper your tooth is damaged. Since your natural tooth has a natural color and texture, reattaching it might produce cosmetically pleasing results.
Reattachment is a rather straightforward process. One of a number of bonding chemicals, including Prime, Bond NT, or Dentsply, will be employed by your dentist. If the pulp is visible, your dentist could combine this method with a root canal.
It is possible to use fillings or reattachment methods in addition to a root canal. A root canal is a process that involves removing the pulp from the center of your tooth, which contains the nerves and blood arteries, and replacing it with a rubbery filling. When the inside of your tooth is diseased or inflammatory, this surgery is carried out.
Your dentist may choose to extrude, or slowly move your tooth out of its socket, to save a tooth that has cracked below the gum line. In order to bring the top of the broken tooth above your gum line, you will wear braces or aligners that apply downward force to the broken tooth over a period of weeks.
Your dentist can place a crown after the tooth’s top is visible.
Crown or filling
If the break is below your gum line, which is unusual, your dentist might be able to restore the damaged tooth with a filling composed of tooth-colored composite resin.
Additionally, your dentist might be able to crown your teeth. An artificial crown can be used to cover the exposed tooth’s top. They can be made of metal alloys, ceramics, or composite resin.
Your dentist might do a crown lengthening if there isn’t enough exposed tooth to hold the crown in place. Your dentist recontours your gum line during this routine operation to expose more of the tooth.
Tooth replacement or extraction?
Your dentist will likely advise having the tooth extracted if it cannot be fixed. There are several tooth replacement options. False teeth that fit over your gums are called dentures. One or more teeth can be replaced by them. Artificial roots called endosteal implants are used to support replacement teeth. False teeth that are supported by the teeth on each side are known as dental bridges.
How long does it take for a fractured molar to heal?
After treatment, your mouth will probably be sore, and the discomfort might grow worse once the local anesthetic wears off. But if you don’t have an infection, the pain should subside over the next few days.
Your dentist might advise refraining from chewing on the damaged tooth for a few days or eating only soft foods and liquids if you underwent a root canal. As soon as the tooth has healed, you should be able to resume your regular diet.
In addition, your dentist could advise you to reduce your physical activity for a day or two and refrain from using a straw for the next 24 hours. Are there any potential side effects from a broken molar?
Due to the lack of protective enamel covering the internal blood vessels and nerves, broken teeth are more prone to decay. If you ignore a fractured tooth, you run the danger of developing an infection, an abscess, or nerve damage.
Once an infection has begun, the germs may migrate to nearby teeth and gums or your bone. In extreme circumstances, your jawbone may get infected.
What factors lead to broken molars most frequently?
Untreated cavities that result in tooth decay, recurring cavities, aging teeth, sudden changes in mouth temperature, chronic teeth grinding (bruxism), biting something hard, especially by accident, untreated cavities that lead to tooth decay, and weakness brought on by a filling are some of the most frequent causes and contributing factors of a broken tooth.
A broken tooth can also result from facial trauma from accidents and sports-related injuries. However, a broken front tooth is more frequently following trauma than a fractured molar.
How can I avoid breaking a molar?
Avoid chewing on ice, hard candies, and other hard foods, limit your intake of sugary meals and refrain from using your teeth to cut objects.
Always wear a mouth guard while participating in contact sports to help avoid breaking a molar. Regularly clean and floss your teeth; refrain from clenching and grinding your teeth; and, if you do, wear a retainer or mouth guard while you sleep.
Visit your dentist right away if one of your teeth fractures below the gum line. If seeing your dentist is not an option, speak with another local dental office or go to the emergency room.
Your dentist might be able to salvage your tooth in some circumstances. Your chances of saving the tooth increase with the speed of action.
Quick action also reduces your chance of getting an infection from exposed blood vessels and nerves.