Everyone wishes to have healthy teeth, but dental emergencies like fractured and broken teeth sometimes happen. Your tooth’s surface, or enamel, is the sturdiest and most intricate body organ, but it can break when subjected to extreme external force or trauma. Some cracks on the tooth surface lead to mild pain and discomfort. Hence, they do not constitute dental emergencies. However, when the damage to the enamel extends to the tooth’s inner chamber, it becomes an emergency requiring emergency dentistry services because of the severe pain and the elevated risk of serious infections.

At the Tayani Dental Group, we understand the effects of broken teeth on your general appearance, tooth functionality, and health. Therefore, if you experience a fractured tooth or symptoms of broken teeth in Fullerton, do not hesitate to visit us for a thorough evaluation and treatment.

Understanding Teeth Fractures and Breakages

A tooth fracture, or breakage, is the development of cracks in the enamel. The breakages have varying severity, with some having mild or no aching while others cause severe pain, particularly when biting. Fractures can form on the anterior and posterior teeth of the mouth, although prevalent in the front teeth.

The various forms of tooth fissures or fractures are:

Crazy Lines

The vertical margins visible on your tooth’s surface are the crazy lines. The lines are usually shallow and form straight patterns. They appear because of the stress your teeth suffer during daily activities, although the familiar sources of crazy lines are irregular bites, teeth grinding, and chewing frozen food. Crazy lines are virtually painless and do not require emergency dental services from the Tayani Dental Group. However, you can visit us for treatment to remove the lines and enhance the aesthetic appearance of your teeth.

Fractured Cusp

Any complete or incomplete fracture that develops on your dental crown is known as a fractured or cracked cusp. The molars are typically fitted with four cusps for anatomy purposes and to assist with chewing. However, when your teeth start to decay, the cusps could fracture. Also, trauma to the mouth can cause the cusps to break away entirely. Other causes of fractured cusps are failed restorations, chronic clenching of the teeth, or extreme trauma. These fractures only affect your restoration and do not spread to the pulp. Hence, they do not trigger pain. However, it would help if you considered visiting us for treatment to improve your tooth functionality.

Cracked Tooth

Another form of tooth fracture is a cracked tooth. These fractures begin at the dental crown and extend to the gum tissue. The fractures’ depth varies, with some so deep that they rise to the tooth root. Some cracks are stained with bacteria, so you will need magnification. Nevertheless, the crack’s severity on the tooth’s surface does not always correlate with the crack’s extent.

The common causes of cracked teeth are excessive application of force and deteriorated tooth structure stemming from worn-out restorations. When you come in with a cracked tooth, our dentists recommend removing the repairs to evaluate the crack’s extent. If their depth is not carefully assessed, some sections can be left untreated and progress, causing severe oral complications.

Split Tooth

Fractures originating from the dental crown and extending to the roots over the marginal bridges are known as split teeth. The tooth elements are entirely split or separated in this type of fracture. A divided tooth constitutes an emergency because of the severe pain it causes. If you commonly chew on icy foods and have severe tooth discomfort, it is time to visit us at the Tayani Dental Group for our emergency dental services because you could be having a split tooth.

Vertical Tooth Breakage

Breakages that extend to the bottom of the tooth root, whether complete or incomplete, are called vertical tooth cracks. These fractures are not easily noticeable, and you could need an X-ray to see them. Patients with these fractures are those who have previously undergone root canal treatments.

These fractures have no prognosis, which is why you should prioritize prevention. The best way to prevent vertical tooth breakages is to minimize dentin extraction in root canal treatment.

Fractured or Broken Teeth Cause

Your teeth are robust and can last forever, but they have limits. Your tooth enamel is exposed to extreme pressure and stress during its lifetime, exposing it to damage. Some fractures are instant, and you will notice them immediately after they happen. Others are gradual and manifest themselves in the form of sensitivity. Therefore, if you begin feeling sensitivity in the mouth when consuming hot or cold foods or beverages, it is time to visit us for a prognosis and treatment. The reasons you could develop tooth breakages and fractures are:

  1. Physical Injuries

Your tooth’s surface, or enamel, is very robust. However, the application of extreme external trauma to the face could result in breakages. The fractures or breakages stemming from facial trauma can be mild, causing small chips in the teeth, or severe, splitting the tooth’s elements. Physical injuries or facial trauma causing fractures in the teeth can stem from car accidents, sports injuries, or assault. The teeth impacted by the trauma are usually the front, as they are easily accessible. When you are involved in a mishap that causes severe facial trauma, you should contact us for emergency dental services immediately for a thorough assessment of the fracture and proper treatment.

  1. Chewing on or Biting Solid Foods 

Your teeth contain nutrients like calcium, strengthening them and making it possible to chew or bite complex objects. Nevertheless, even though the teeth have the strength to bite hard objects like ice and candy, you should not make it a routine, as it weakens the enamel and exposes it to breakage. Your teeth could also break if you misuse them, like opening soda bottles. Teeth have varying strengths; any time you use them on objects or foods with more power than they can support, they will easily fracture.

  1. Chronic Clenching and Grinding

Extreme tooth clenching or grinding is known as bruxism. The habit is unrelated to standard tooth functionality and happens unconsciously when you are sleeping or awake. If the clenching occurs when you are asleep, you will hardly notice unless the condition is frequent and severe, causing other oral issues. The excess pressure put on the teeth during grinding wears down your tooth’s surface, cracks, and fractures with time.

  1. Tooth Cavity

A prevalent oral condition known to weaken the tooth’s surface is tooth decay. A weakened tooth structure makes your enamel susceptible to chipping and cracking with minimum pressure. Although not all breakages stem from tooth cavities, big holes enable bacteria to grow, causing infections. An infected tooth does not absorb nutrients like calcium properly, making the enamel weak and susceptible to fractures.

  1. Previous Dental Procedures

Oral procedures like root canals treat tooth decay and alleviate the pain associated with dental conditions. However, the process involves extracting the tooth’s surface, depriving the tooth of blood. With time, your teeth weaken and become predisposed to breakage when exerted with the slightest pressure. Also, massive dental fillings put excessive stress on the remaining natural enamel, increasing the risk of breakage.

  1. Aging

Your teeth' enamel undergoes wear and tear as age advances, causing cracks. Also, the teeth weaken and develop fractures when you are old because of insufficient nutrients. The nutrients your teeth need to be strong are calcium and magnesium, which are contained in the saliva. Unfortunately, some senior citizens experience dry mouth associated with insufficient saliva, causing weak teeth. When the teeth weaken, the risk of fractures or breakages increases. 

Various factors cause fractured or broken teeth. However, these dental emergencies should not scare you because remedies are available. However, you must talk to a reputable emergency dentistry service like the Tayani Dental Group to increase the likelihood of restoring the original tooth's functionality, appearance, and health.

Teeth Breakages and Fractures Symptoms

Identifying a tooth breakage or fracture is challenging because none of these cases have noticeable symptoms. Therefore, you should talk to Tayani Dental Group in Fullerton for frequent oral examinations. Existing oral conditions that could cause cracks and fractures in the teeth can be identified early and arrested before causing severe damage.

The conditions that indicate you have a broken or cracked tooth are:

  • Tooth sensitivity because of the exposed tooth nerves.
  • Gum tissue inflammation on the affected tooth.
  • Pain that is often severe when chewing.
  • Persistent toothache.
  • Infections on the gingiva tissue and gum line.
  • Tooth movement when chewing.

The symptoms of tooth breakage resemble those of tooth decay. Therefore, you should not hesitate to contact us whenever you experience these symptoms, even mild pain. Even the most minor teeth cracks can be harmful as they are sharp and can hurt your tongue or soft tissue in the mouth while chewing. When the damage spreads to the tooth root, it causes severe pain, which is why you need our emergency dental services to increase the likelihood of saving the tooth.

Steps to Take When You Suffer Broken Tooth Symptoms

When you obtain symptoms of a broken or fractured tooth, there are several steps you can take to minimize further damage before visiting us for an emergency dental procedure. These steps are:

  • Maintain pressure on the section of the tooth that is bleeding.
  • Do not chew using the impacted side of the mouth.
  • Steer clear of chewing on hard or frozen foods.
  • Rub dental wax on the broken area to prevent the cracks from extending to the gums.
  • Reduce swelling on the impacted site by applying an ice pack.
  • Take painkillers to relieve the pain.
  • Use salty water to rinse the mouth.

Tooth fracture is an oral emergency, although you can take these steps before seeing an expert for treatment. At Tayani Dental Group, we have state-of-the-art technology that enables us to diagnose, treat and save broken teeth. Our emergency dentists are willing to address the tooth with discomfort, restoring a flawless smile and alleviating the pain.

Indications That Your Teeth Breakage or Fracture is an Emergency

A dental emergency is any oral problem requiring immediate attention or care. Typically, you must arrange a meeting with your dentist on the same day of the fracture. However, not all teeth breakages require emergency care. You do not have to visit us immediately if it is a tooth chip with no pain. You can schedule an appointment later because it does not endanger your oral or general well-being.

Indications that your tooth fracture is a dental emergency are:

  • Persistent pain and discomfort when biting.
  • Visible cracks on the affected teeth.
  • Swollen gum tissue, which is a sign of infection.
  • A loose tooth that could fall out any time.
  • Blood coming out of the mouth, a sign of a damaged pulp.

These symptoms indicate that you have a dental emergency and must schedule an appointment immediately; otherwise, you risk severe infection and other health complications.

Remedies for Teeth Fractures and Breakages

The remedy we will adopt for your broken teeth will depend on the fracture’s severity. When you walk into our clinics for emergency dental care, our emergency dentists will take the following steps in the prognosis stage:

  • Ask about your oral history and whether you suffer from bruxism.
  • Rub a special bleach on the affected tooth to make the crack more visible.
  • Check the gums around the impacted tooth for inflammation.
  • If you do not have clear signs of tooth fracture, your dentist will ask you to bite on a gauze and release to identify the areas where you will experience pain after releasing.
  • Magnification to identify tiny cracks that are invisible to the eye.
  • Perform an x-ray to check if the pulp is compromised.

Once we have established the type of fracture and the cause, we can adopt these remedies to fix your teeth:

Enamel Shaping

Our dentists will correct trivial chips in your mouth through enamel reshaping. Although these chips are not agonizing, they qualify as dental emergencies because the sharp edges can hurt the tongue or soft tissue when chewing. We will smooth the sharp corners of the teeth and then perform a dental filling or bonding procedure.

Filling or Bonding

When only a tiny section of the enamel is chipped, our dentists will recommend filling, mainly if it is a back tooth affected. However, when a front tooth is fractured, filling is not the best option because of aesthetics, so we will use dental bonding to repair the tooth and fill the cracks to reinstate the tooth’s functionality. Bonding involves using a composite whose color resembles the natural teeth to retain the teeth. The advantage of bonding is that it is non-invasive, and you do not need numbing.

Root Canal Treatment

When the crack on the tooth is bulky enough and extends to the soft tissue, bacteria in the mouth and food debris can go into the pulp, causing severe contamination. If you observe your gum tissue changing color or experience severe pain in the teeth, it could indicate pulp infection, and you need to reach out to us immediately to prevent cell and nerve decay or death. When the fracture affects the pulp, our emergency dentists will recommend therapy. During the procedure, your dentist administers sedation to eliminate anxiety. They then numb the affected area with local anesthesia to keep you comfortable and make the process virtually painless.

Your dentist will remove the dead pulp, replace it with composite, and then cover it with a crown. However, the tooth would require emergency removal if the pulp was damaged beyond repair.

Emergency Tooth Removal or Extraction

If the broken tooth cannot be restored, your dentist will have no other option but to extract the remaining piece and replace the natural tooth with an implant.

Before conducting an emergency tooth removal, our dentists at Tayani Dental Group will ask about your dental and general health history and any medications you could have been using that could cause complications. Your dentist will likely recommend an antibiotic injection before the removal to prevent infection of the surgical area.

Also, we will recommend sedation options like an intravenous sedative, an oral sedative, or nitrogen oxide to sedate you before the treatment.

If the remaining section of the broken or fractured tooth is visible through the mouth, you will require a simple extraction. In the procedure, the dentist will keep you comfortable using a sedative of your choice, numb the soft tissue area of the broken tooth, and use dental forceps to remove the tooth.

However, if the damage to the fractured tooth extends to the gum line and the jawbone has an infection, you will require surgical extraction. Also, surgical tooth removal is necessary when a tooth is broken below the gum line and is not visible through the mouth. The procedure is highly invasive, and many patients dread it, which is why we combine sedation and local anesthesia.

Once you are comfortable, your oral surgeon makes precise cuts on the gum using dental lasers to expose the broken tooth and remove the teeth under the gums and the affected jawbone.

Find a Competent Emergency Dentistry Service Near Me

You should call an emergency dentist immediately if you have a dental emergency because of fractured or broken teeth to prevent infections and increase the chances of saving the teeth. At Tayani Dental Group, we offer quality emergency dentistry services tailored to meet the needs of our clients. Call us today at 949-741-0795 to schedule a meeting in Fullerton.