Why Did My Tooth Break?

Drs. Nilash and Nitash Patel at Serenity Dental in Lutz, Wesley Chapel, and Zephyrhills are often asked the question, “Why did my tooth break?”

Not every broken tooth is the result of a blow to the face or jaw. Our experience is that many times a broken or chipped tooth is a surprise to the patient. If you suffer a broken tooth, but you did not sustain an injury, you probably feel frustrated and a bit puzzled. In fact, you may not feel any pain.

There are multiple factors that weaken a tooth until an occlusal surface chips or a noticeable break occurs. In some cases, biting on something hard, like a nut shell or bone has caused the fracture, especially if the tooth structure has been weakened by a cavity, a filling, or crazing in the enamel due to the forces of biting, chewing and bruxism (involuntary nighttime teeth grinding). In other cases, normal chewing finally breaks off a portion of a tooth that is decayed or has a large filling.

If you experience a broken tooth, you should call for an appointment as soon as possible. A fracture that exposes tooth roots will be immediately painful, and we understand this is an urgent situation. Even if the fracture is only a chip, a sharp edge will be uncomfortable, and the damaged area will be susceptible to tooth decay, so we should see you soon. Untreated cracks and chips can lead to teeth breaking off at the root, which is an extremely painful condition requiring emergency root extraction.

With today’s materials and methods, there are often treatment options for restoring you to optimal oral health and appearance. You may need a dental crown or tooth extraction followed by tooth replacement with a bridge or implant crown. In the case of a minor chip, other options such as bonding or a veneer might be a solution. Our dentists are experienced restorative experts, who will will kindly lead you through any choices and gently care for you needs. Our dentists are also on the look out for occlusal conditions, fine cracks in your tooth enamel, and signs of decay or periodontal infection (gum disease) that should be treated to prevent a tooth from breaking.

New patients are always welcome at Serenity Dental. Our gentle and experienced dentists will compassionately eliminate discomfort and restore your oral health and smile appearance. If you are in pain, we understand this is an urgent situation and will make every attempt to see you immediately.