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How Do I Know If My Tooth Is Fractured?

How Do I Know If My Tooth Is Fractured?

This tooth may feel totally normal to the tongue.  Notice the fractures on all four sides!

This tooth may feel totally normal to the tongue. Notice the fractures on all four sides!

Usually you will be able to feel if your tooth is fractured – but not always!

When the old silver amalgam restoration is removed the fractures can be seen extending across the tooth.

When the old silver amalgam restoration is removed the fractures can be seen extending across the tooth.

 

Very large, rough silver filling with fracture lines

Very large, rough silver filling with fracture lines

The tooth above may feel totally normal to the tongue, but notice the fractures on all four sides of this tooth!  The patient was experiencing slight pain with chewing. Unless the tooth fracture extends down the root of the tooth or into the nerve of the tooth – as it eventually will with time – this tooth can be saved with a new filling and a crown or cap.  See the same tooth after the filling was removed to the left.

A fractured tooth will often have one or more of these symptoms:

  • Erratic, fleeting pain during chewing – sometimes when pressure is applied to the tooth or when that pressure is released
  • Pain to temperature changes especially cold.
  • Pain or swelling or pocketing in the gums adjacent to the fracture
  • Rough or sharp areas

 

It is possible to have none of these symptoms and still have a fractured tooth!  If the tooth fracture has not yet extended close enough to the tooth nerve, you may not be able to feel that a problem exists.  In our office we will often take a photograph of your tooth so that you can also see what is going on.  Unfortunately, sometimes by the time there is significant pain, a fracture will cause the loss of the tooth.  If treated early, a crown or cap may be able to surround the fractured area of your tooth and prevent the biting forces that would have caused further fracturing.  A root canal may be needed as well if bacteria have penetrated into the nerve space of the tooth.

If you think your tooth may be fractured, ask your dentist!  Ask our office, we would be glad to help and it might just save the life of your tooth! Our Grand Junction, Colorado office would love to have you ‘LIKE’ us on Facebook! See www.facebook.com/juliegillisddspc

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health