A broken tooth means a dental fracture

The highest incidence of dental fractures is due to masticatory accidents. Very hard foods or the presence of hard foreign bodies in soft foods:

  • the gritty salt on poppy seed bagels

  • fruit pits

  • grains of sand in salad greens

  • pellets in game

  • another common chewing accident is inadvertently biting off a fork.

Tooth fracture (broken tooth) can be caused by various traumas. It can be single (a single broken tooth) or multiple (several broken teeth). The dental fracture (broken tooth), in certain situations, is associated with the mobility of the broken tooth or even its avulsion.

What should be done in the case of a broken tooth?

  • In the extreme situation where the tooth fracture is associated with tooth avulsion (if the tooth has come out of the socket, if it has been pulled out as a result of trauma) the following measures should be taken:

  • the wound should be dressed with saline solution

  • a sterile compress will be applied to the wound and held compressively (in the bite)

  • the broken tooth (which has been removed) is kept in the mouth, under the tongue, in saliva, or in saline warmed to body temperature

  • do not attempt to clean or wash the avulsed tooth!

  • do your best to get to your dentist as soon as possible, chances are he/she will be able to put the tooth back in the socket and you will be able to recover it.

  • the more time that passes from the time of the avulsion to the time you see the dentist, the less chance you have of getting the tooth back.

  • In the case of a broken, vital tooth where the fracture line has opened the pulp chamber (reached the nerve) the pain is vivid, excruciating. Painful sensations increase with stimuli such as cold air, cold or acidic foods: sweet, sour. If a visit to the dentist is made on time, he will be able to treat and reconstruct the broken tooth.

  • Sharp and sharp edges of the tooth enamel at the level of the tooth fracture can cause damage to the tongue, lips or cheeks where they come into contact. In this case, if the dentist will delay treatment to restore the broken tooth, he or she will grind the sharp edge to prevent this.

  • Dental fracture, post traumatic (broken tooth following a blow) may be accompanied by bleeding gums and some degree of mobility of the broken tooth, a visit to the dentist should be a priority in such situations.


Depending on the criteria, dental fractures can be categorized as follows:

Devital tooth fracture (broken tooth that no longer has a nerve). After losing the nerve the tooth becomes brittle, brittle, like glass.

With the passage of time, the degree of friability can become so great that the devital tooth can break during chewing due to normal chewing pressure.

To prevent this, all devital teeth should be covered with dental crowns

Vital tooth fracture. Teeth in their natural state can be fractured by trauma or accident. Fractures of vital teeth can be divided into:

  • enamel cracks – appear as “cracks” on tooth surfaces and are usually ignored. They are most common in adults, their number increases with age. Enamel cracks usually do not need treatment, but if they are unsightly or associated with increased sensitivity, they can be sealed.

  • enamel chipping – when a small part of the tooth breaks off. This type of fracture only affects the enamel and, depending on the size of the broken piece, a simple correction may be made by grinding, or crown restoration material (filling) may be needed.

  • coronal fractures

  • simple coronal fractures – fractures that occur at the crown of the tooth (the visible part of the tooth above the gum) and touch the dentine. They can cause pain, especially when eating cold, sour or sweet foods. Treatment consists of restoring the tooth’s appearance with crown filling materials.

  • Complicated coronal fractures are those that open the pulp chamber. In this case, root canal treatment is performed on the root of the fractured tooth and the dental crown is restored with a prosthetic dental crown.

  • Coronal-radicular fractures are those that affect both the crown of the tooth and its root. If the root fracture is complete and the fracture is below the alveolar ridge, tooth extraction is required. Dental implant prosthesis is the treatment plan for such situations.

  • Root fractures are those that are located at the root level, in this case extraction and dental implant prosthesis is used.

Prevention. Don’t risk fracturing your teeth:

  • participating in contact sports without a mouth guard or without specific protective equipment

  • avoid using your teeth as a tool: cutting wires, holding nails, opening caps, etc..;

  • avoid biting into very hard food, use a knife or grater.

  • bruxism can cause dental fractures, do not ignore it and do not leave it untreated, consult your dentist.

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