Tooth fracture, tooth broken off

When a molar or tooth breaks off, we call it a tooth fracture. An accident is often the cause of this, but sometimes the tooth breaks off when we chew or bite off something. More than a third of people will experience a tooth fracture at some point. Sometimes the crown breaks, sometimes only a front tooth. The root can also break off. A root canal treatment is sometimes necessary after a tooth has broken off.

Cause of broken tooth or molar

The most common cause of a broken tooth is a fall or blow to the tooth, causing it to break off. In addition, there are also many people who break a tooth when they chew liquorice, a piece of baguette or chips or something else. Breaking a molar or tooth does not just happen. Prior to this, there was a crack in the tooth or molar. As we age, this can occur as a result of wear and tear, but the well-known jaw clenching or the grinding of teeth against each other can also cause a crack. A crack cannot always be noticed by the dentist, not even on an X-ray. If the dentist does notice this, he will repair the crack as quickly as possible.

Fall on the front teeth

Children in particular often fall on their front teeth, often causing damage to the teeth in the upper jaw. The most common damage is internal bleeding in the front tooth, causing it to turn brown, or a broken front tooth. If you act very quickly, you can try to put the broken piece back on. This often goes well. If this is not possible, the tooth is covered, especially when the nerve is almost exposed or even already exposed. Putting it back on quickly is especially important for the nerve. If the piece breaks off again or is lost, a crown can be placed on top. Restoration can also be done with a filling. Sometimes a root canal treatment (nerve treatment) is necessary.

Have you noticed a tooth breaking off?

Most people notice when their tooth breaks off. This usually happens while biting or chewing food. Suddenly one notices a piece of tooth in the oral cavity, or a pain arises. Sometimes the breaking off of the molar or tooth is not noticed. This is especially the case when it concerns a small piece. The piece is then swallowed with the food. This does not cause much harm, in most cases the piece leaves the body naturally without causing any damage. Often this can no longer be found in the stool. In children it even more often goes unnoticed. The child will sometimes not notice when something is missing from the mouth, especially a small part. Only when pain arises will the child make this clear.

Keep broken piece

A piece of broken tooth or molar must be put back in as soon as possible, even if it is to save the nerve. Preferably store the broken piece under the tongue. The saliva ensures that the piece is well preserved and reusable. In other cases, the broken piece can also be stored in milk. It is sometimes difficult for children to keep a piece of tooth or molar under the tongue. It is also preferable not to let small children keep the piece of tooth under the tongue. The chance that the piece will be swallowed is many times greater than for an adult.
For many parents, the question is whether a broken baby tooth should be replaced. In most cases, the dentist will not do anything about a broken baby tooth. Children exchange their baby teeth for permanent teeth around the age of six. Although it may not look nice, the child will be able to continue walking around with the broken baby tooth and wait for the tooth to be replaced. In some cases, the dentist will decide to grind the tooth a bit. Some fractures leave sharp edges that can cause damage to the gums or tongue. The remaining tooth or molar is then ground nice and smooth.

Bone bridge

When the root is broken, a so-called bone bridge can develop between the two fracture parts. There is a local inflammation that results in a bridge consisting of inflammatory tissue. The inflamed tissue, the bone bridge, can sometimes easily be removed. This is done together with the root part that is deepest. Part of the root will then be missing. The deeper the fracture is at the root tip, the better the prognosis. In the case of deep root fractures, the root can continue to function normally and the tooth does not lose its hold.

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