What Happens With Untreated Broken Tooth?

untreated broken tooth

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What happens if you have an untreated broken tooth?

The earlier your dentist treats your broken tooth, the better. The damage just gets worse over time and allows bacteria to penetrate under the enamel and the soft inner part of the tooth into the deeper layer of tissue. It spreads from there, and it can form an abscess, a pocket of contaminated content.

A broken tooth will collect bacteria, causing infection or abscess if left untreated. A broken tooth often risks damage to the nerve and can cause a root canal’s need.

Keep your mouth clean to avoid infection by gently rinsing it after you eat. An abscess causes discomfort sometimes, but sometimes, if the broken tooth isn’t treated, it can go unnoticed. The infection will spread to other parts of your body, causing severe complications to occur.

What Happens With Untreated Broken Tooth?

The enamel of the tooth has no nerves or blood vessels, according to Harvard Medical School. Therefore, there might be little or no pain from the loss of enamel. A broken tooth can range from a small chip to a full tooth breakage from the outside of the enamel, leaving the pulp and dentin exposed.

If the latter is the case, and the air-exposed dentin or pulp, you may encounter pain. Bacteria may contaminate the exposed area, causing discoloration, more discomfort, and sensitivity to temperature changes. Check out these signs of a broken tooth that needs dental therapy.

  • Swollen gums
  • Pain when chewing or eating
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Pain that comes and goes
  • A general feeling of discomfort in the mouth

On the other hand, here are the signs of a broken tooth that needs dental therapy:

  • Pressure sensitivity
  • You could cut your tongue
  • Temperature sensitivity
  • Pain in the area

Is it Okay to Leave a Broken Tooth?

You shouldn’t leave it untreated, even though your broken tooth doesn’t hurt. You could be at elevated risk of even more serious underlying problems. One of the most troubling side effects of a broken tooth is that food detritus can get stuck inside, causing acute infections.

It can lead to abscesses within your mouth at its most serious, which are fluid-filled sacs full of collected and amalgamated pus, plaque, disease, and food.

These are harmful not only to your mouth but to the entire body, as the fluids can break into your bloodstream and cause permanent harm, possibly even causing death. But there are still other questions, as the surrounding teeth would have to take up the additional duty to cover the missing tooth.

It causes more pressure and potential for the other teeth to get affected, making them likely to become broken teeth, further leading to decreased oral health.

The matter of timeliness is also essential. If completed immediately, repairs are always best. The longer you wait, the less successful care will be. When the most beneficial outcome would have been crowning or capping the damaged part, a harmless snaggletooth might become a completely missing tooth tomorrow.

Regardless of the cause or form of injury and whether it hurts or not, you must go to your dentist. Book an appointment with your dentist, so you can save your teeth before it gets worse.

What Should You Do When a Tooth Breaks Off?

Typically, teeth with small chips on the edges do not cause any pain or problems. Still, by smoothing the edge and applying a tooth-colored filling, your dentist can recommend a repair. It will keep the lips or tongue from breaking through the rough edge.

It may need more complicated procedures for heavily fractured and badly broken teeth because these issues may be because of a cavity. A large cavity can cause fractures and breaks and becomes highly painful if left.

Tooth cavities can also cause infections along the exposed gum line and pulp. Root canal treatment may be appropriate in such cases. For cracked and chipped teeth, root canal treatment isn’t always the option. The Dentist may fill in the cracks and bind with specialized tooth cement, so there is no pain or infection.

You may not notice or necessarily damage a cracked or broken tooth, but just because it doesn’t cause any problems doesn’t mean you can neglect it. No matter how mild you think it might be, having some anomalies studied by your dentist is part of a healthy oral health routine. Infections can develop rapidly, so you want to make sure you have the right care as soon as possible.

You can avoid fractures and cracks from turning into issues with routine check-ups and consultations with your dentist.

What Can Dentists Do With a Broken Tooth?

It is more normal in life to live with a broken tooth than individuals believe. Even though human teeth are robust, the teeth may still split, crack, or fracture because of poor hygiene or aging. This damage can cause intense discomfort and make your teeth more sensitive to infections.

You must see a dentist as soon as possible if you have a broken tooth. Here are a few things that your dentist can want to do to deal with your situation. The type of care required depends on how serious the damage is. Here are some treatments that your dentist might do.

Dental filling or bonding

Dentists may use dental filling or bonding to patch the broken teeth. If the damaged tooth is visible when you smile, bonding is usually necessary. The dentist will roughen the tooth’s surface so it can adhere to the bonding material. Adhesive material and a tooth-colored resin are then added. The bonding material forms under ultraviolet light and then hardened.

Root canal

If the tooth’s pulp is inflamed or contaminated, a root canal may be necessary. It will help in extracting the inflamed or contaminated pulp and cleaning and seal the space. Your dentist can position a crown during another appointment to help protect the tooth in the future.


The tooth may break below the level of the gum or bone sometimes. In the first example, it is possible to change the gingiva level with a laser at the clinic (laser gingivectomy). This operation helps the dentist to clear and fix the tooth.

It is necessary to extract bone and gum around the tooth in tooth fracture cases deep below the gingiva, or even up to the bone level to heal it. It is often important to remove it if it damages the tooth too far below the gum and bone. Typically, dentists adopt this protocol by inserting implants.


A broken tooth may lead to tooth decay, tooth sensitivity, and eventually, tooth loss by leaving it untreated. You must make an appointment with your Menlo Park dentist for proper examination and care if you have broken a tooth.


Marisa Walker, DDS

150 Middlefield Rd #101, Menlo Park, CA 94025


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