Even though our teeth are extraordinarily strong, they might chip, or break. Biting something very hard, being hit or punched on the mouth or face or falling are some of the causes of fractured teeth.
When your teeth chip or break, it doesn’t hurt. You might not even perceive the damage caused. Minor fractures of the tooth might not cause any pain, but if a larger piece of tooth chips off, it can be very painful. This is because the underlying nerve is damaged and if this is exposed to cold or hot drinks or foods, air and saliva, it can cause extreme discomfort. Pain caused by a cracked or a broken tooth can either be constant or it might be periodic. Some people feel this pain while chewing something as it exerts pressure on the teeth.
What Can You Do?
Different tests are performed in the mouth to determine if a tooth fracture is present. In some instances, dental X-rays can help to diagnose, locate, and measure the extent of tooth fractures.
A serious fracture is one that exposes both the dentin and the pulp tissue and should be treated promptly. Serious injuries may make the tooth displaced and loose, and cause the gums to bleed. To prevent the loose tooth from falling out completely, the dentist can splint the loose tooth by bonding it to the adjacent teeth to help stabilize it while the underlying bone and gums heal. Because of the high risk of pulp infection after the exposure of the pulp to the oral environment, a root canal procedure may need to be performed during the first visit.
Alternatively, the dentist may elect to only apply a sedative dressing on the splinted tooth to help calm the tooth pain. The tooth will then be reevaluated in two to four weeks to determine if a root canal procedure is necessary. If the tooth appears to have recovered and is stable in the mouth, the splint is removed at that time and a filling or crown is placed to restore the fractured tooth.
The most serious injuries involve vertical, diagonal, or horizontal fractures of the tooth roots. In most instances, a fracture of the tooth root leaves the injured tooth very loose and unable to be restored with dental work, thus necessitating tooth extraction.
If you experience injury to your tooth, contact Expressions Dental. Our general dentist can examine your tooth and recommend various treatments depending on the location and extent of the break.
In addition to several other chronic diseases, tobacco use is a primary cause of many oral diseases and adverse oral conditions. For example, tobacco is a risk factor for oral cancer and periodontal disease. It can also cause stained yellow or brown teeth, bad breath, and loss of teeth. Smoking is thought to alter bacteria in dental plaque, making it more harmful.
In general, smokers can expect to develop some combination of the following, depending on the amount and length of time they have smoked:
Persistent bad breath
An increase in calculus (tartar) build-up
Periodontal (gum and bone) disease that may progress more quickly and be more severe than in non-smokers
Jaw bone loss
An increased number of missing teeth
Root caries (cavities)
Smoker’s lip (like a burn)
Altered sense of taste and smell
Delayed wound healing
Smoking has been established as a significant risk factor for gum disease. Tobacco reduces blood flow to the gums, depriving them of oxygen and nutrients that allow gums to stay healthy, and leaving them vulnerable to bacterial infection.
According to one U.S. study, cigarette smoking may play a major role in more than half the cases of severe gum disease in adults. Current smokers were about four times more likely to have periodontitis than people who had never smoked. (Ref: J.Periodontology 2000 May:71(5):743-51)
If unchecked, periodontal disease can lead to complete destruction of the tooth’s supporting tissues, abscesses and, ultimately, loss of the tooth.
Caring for your Teeth and Gums
If you are a smoker, there are some things you can do to prevent tooth and gum problems:
Try to quit smoking – speak to your doctor or dentist or call helpline for guidance and support.
If quitting smoking is too difficult, try and reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke.
Thoroughly clean your teeth and gums twice a day with toothpaste that contains fluoride.
Use dental floss every day to clean between your teeth.
Avoid having a dry mouth – drink plenty of water and chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production.
Limit your alcohol intake.
To stop using tobacco or smoking habit, people can also join smoking cessation classes and support groups along with drug therapy. Ask your doctor or dentist for information on similar programs they may be familiar with.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are an option to restore missing teeth without using additional teeth as support or anchors. They are also able to support dentures and prevent difficulties associated with the slipping and shifting of the denture. Implants are surgically placed in the jawbone and mimic the root of the natural tooth which also prevents bone reduction. Dental implants are restored with crowns, bridges and dentures.
Why get dental implants restore missing or damaged teeth?
A dental implant restores a lost tooth so that it looks, feels, fits and functions like a natural tooth.
Dental implants allow you to maintain the natural shape of your face and smile.
Cavities can’t occur in an implant-restored crown, or replacement tooth; however, you will need to visit your dentist as scheduled and clean and care for it and your gums and mouth every day, the same as you would if it were a natural tooth.
Dental implants are fixed in place and fuse naturally with your jawbone, meaning your replacement teeth won’t move, click or shift.
Dental implants go in the jawbone, in the spot where your missing tooth root was, without impacting healthy teeth. They also help prevent healthy, adjacent teeth from shifting as they would if an empty space were left for an extended period of time.
In most cases, anyone healthy enough to undergo a routine dental extraction or oral surgery can be considered for a dental implant. Heavy smokers, people suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders – such as diabetes or heart disease – or patients who have had radiation therapy to the head/neck area need to be evaluated on an individual basis. You should consider the fact that it is a surgical procedure so there are always risks present with any surgery i.e delayed healing, prolonged bleeding, infection, surgical complication. There is also a significant time commitment required as the implant site may need to have additional procedures performed to make it ready to accept the implant. If you are considering dental implants, talk to your dentist to see if they are right for you.