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Broken Tooth

Woman biting red apple

Teeth are some of the hardest substances in our body and made to withstand heavy biting forces. However, even with the best oral hygiene and dental care, teeth can still become chipped or broken.

What are the causes of broken teeth?

  • Biting too hard
  • Weakened teeth due to decay
  • Traumatic forces from being hit in the face or tooth
  • Prior dental fillings that weakened your tooth structure
  • Repeated wear from teeth grinding, called bruxism

Why Is a Broken Tooth Painful?

Not all broken teeth hurt. The breakage can range from a small chip in the hard enamel exterior to a complete fracture of the tooth.

If the fracture or chip is small, it is less likely to cause any pain. However, your tongue may feel the edge of the crack and get irritated or develop painful ulcers.

A larger crack is likely to hurt as it may have damaged or exposed the underlying nerves. It may be painful when biting or become sensitive to hot and cold. Bacteria can also infect the exposed pulp tissues causing more pain and even infection.

If the crack is extensive, it can completely split a tooth into two.

What Can You Do?

You cannot treat your broken tooth at home. Contact us for an urgent appointment so that our dentist can examine and manage the broken tooth quickly.

In the meantime, you can take painkillers like Panadol and avoid hot and cold foods. Do not bite on the side where the broken tooth is so as not to crack it further.

What Can Your Dentist Do?

The sooner you make an appointment to come in, the better. Your tooth needs to be attended to either immediately or as soon as convenient so as to avoid the condition becoming more severe. Our dentist will examine the tooth and fix the problem.

The treatment for the broken tooth depends on the extent of the damage.

Small chip – if the chip is very small, sometimes all it needs is for the dentist to smoothen the sharp edges and polish the tooth. No further treatment is needed.

Medium chip – parts of your tooth will be missing and need to be replaced. This can be done with a simple composite resin filling or if larger, a porcelain inlay filling. Sometimes, in order to protect the remaining tooth, a crown will be needed.

Large chip – if the underlying nerves are exposed and damaged, root canal treatment will be needed or it may become infected and extremely painful. Usually, a crown is placed to protect the root-treated tooth.

Split tooth – if the tooth has split down the root, it will not be restorable and has to be extracted. Your dentist will then discuss its replacement which is likely to be an implant-supported crown.

Cracked Tooth Syndrome

Cracked tooth syndrome starts with craze lines that are too small to be visible even on dental x-ray. The cracks develop due to constant teeth grinding (bruxism) or when there is excessive amount of pressure on certain teeth. They occur most commonly on the back teeth or molars as they are subject to the highest biting forces.

You may notice that the teeth hurt only upon biting at a certain angle or upon release. This is because the cracks open or close during biting and the underlying nerves detect these movements and respond with pain.

Your dentist will use special tools to confirm that you have a cracked tooth syndrome.

Treatment options depend on how deep the cracks are:

  • Shallow crack – a crown is usually needed
  • Moderate to deep crack involving the dental pulp – root canal treatment will be necessary followed by a crown
  • Extensive crack reaching down the root or jaw bone – extraction of the tooth is necessary

What Happens If You Do Not Seek Treatment?

If the chip is very small, you may get away without treatment but your tongue or lip may get irritated.

Given time, most cracks will eventually propagate and you may end up in a worse condition than before. A tooth that could have been saved with a simple filling may end up needing an extraction and implant.

Schedule an Appointment

It is therefore advisable that you seek treatment early. Contact us for an appointment soon.


Broken Tooth Treatment in Orchard, Singapore | Whatsapp: +65 8394 0827 | +65 6737 7022