Artistic Expressions Dentistry

Broken Tooth: Symptoms and Treatment Options

By Bruce Wilderman on June 12, 2020

Illustration of a molar shows several cracks and fissures along the surface.Even with good oral hygiene practices and other precautions, a dental emergency can develop when you least expect it. Dr. Bruce Wilderman is an experienced emergency dentist who can provide immediate relief from oral pain once you arrive at Artistic Expressions Dentistry. 

There are a wide range of reasons our Philadelphia, PA, dental patients seek treatment from Dr. Wilderman, our emergency dentist. Whether due to trauma, an advanced cavity, or other dental problem, a broken tooth can require immediate treatment. If you live in Bucks County or nearby Doylestown, PA, our office can provide prompt and effective treatment for your dental emergency. 

Common Causes and Symptoms of a Broken Tooth

Enamel is the hardest material found in the body, but it is susceptible to wear and damage. Tooth decay can compromise the strength of your tooth to the point that part of the decayed tooth can break off, either on its own or as the result of chewing. Sports-related accidents and biting hard objects are two other leading causes of a broken tooth.

Depending on how severe the break is, you may or may not experience discomfort or pain. Sensitivity to hot and cold drinks is one common symptom of a broken tooth. Many of our Philadelphia patients notice the structural irregularity caused by the break (often a sharp edge) when their tongue rubs the surface of the broken tooth. 

Is a Broken Tooth a Dental Emergency?

We tend to think of a dental emergency as something that involves significant pain and bleeding. A broken tooth can be asymptomatic. You may not notice pain if the break is small enough. Regardless of which symptoms you are experiencing (or not experiencing), a broken tooth should be considered an urgent dental problem for the following reasons:

  • Your tooth can develop temperature sensitivity 
  • The sharp edge of the break can cut your tongue or the inside of your cheeks
  • Any break places your tooth at risk of further decay and infection
  • A broken tooth will inevitably develop into a serious complication

If your tooth has broken, gently rinse your mouth with warm water or saline water to remove debris from around the tooth. Gauze can be used to control bleeding. Call our office at (215) 712-8258 and a member of our dental team will provide further advice on how to handle your broken tooth and when you can come into the office. 

Treatment Options for a Broken Tooth

Your treatment options will vary depending on the severity of the break. A minor break may simply require polishing, so the edges do not cut your tongue. A small break may require composite resin fillings to restore strength and structure to your tooth.

More significant breaks may require restorations such as inlays, onlays, or dental crowns. If the inner pulp of your tooth has been compromised, root canal therapy may be needed to prevent the need for tooth extraction. If the tooth cannot be saved, Dr. Wilderman may advise tooth extraction to restore your oral health.

Contact Us for More Information

If you have sustained a broken tooth, it is important to visit your dentist right away. To schedule an appointment at our Philadelphia practice, call us at (215) 712-8258 or contact us online anytime. 

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Doylestown Office

400 Swamp Rd
Doylestown, PA 18901

Open Today 9:00am - 5:00pm

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