The Pain of Having a Fractured Tooth & What You Can Do About It

The Pain of Having a Fractured Tooth & What You Can Do About It

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Fractures are a common thing in the world of dentistry. Fractures or cracks can occur at any age, although they are more common for people over 25.

Fractures can be very painful, are hard to diagnose, and in some cases easy to treat.

Oblique Supra-Gingival Fracture

The first type of crack is known as an oblique supragingival fracture. These fractures are found above the gum line and are commonly created when you’ve bite down too hard on something. Fortunately, this type of fracture doesn’t usually involve the nerve.

Once the fractured area of the tooth has broken off or been removed, any pain you experienced will go away. Although the exposed dentin left behind once the piece of tooth is removed may cause you some pain, which a visit to your dentist and repair will sort out.

If the missing piece of tooth is large, you may need to have a crown placed on the tooth to prevent further fractures from occurring. A crown will also disguise the fact that you don’t have a whole perfect tooth.

Oblique Sub-Gingival Fracture

The second type of fracture is a crack that goes below the gum line, and is known as an oblique subgingival fracture.

These fractures create absolute misery and pain until you’ve had them fixed by your dentist. Once the fractured piece of tooth breaks off, it normally remains attached to the gums which is what causes all the pain.

Once your dentist has removed the tooth from the gum, you basically have a Supra-Gingival Fracture. Again, it normally doesn’t affect the nerves, although as a result of part of the tooth being missing, you may need to have a root canal to clean out the socket before having a crown put on the remaining tooth.

The seriousness of this fracture depends on entirely how far below the gum line it goes. If the fracture has made it’s way deep below the gum line, your dentist may not be able to save the tooth from dying. Your dentist will advise you on whether the tooth should be extracted right away or can wait (a crack can be present for many years, before you feel any pain and is more likely to discolor first) based on your dental history.

If you have a family history of problems with fractures, regular checkups will help you monitor the situation.

Oblique Root Fracture

An oblique root fracture rarely involves the tooth crown at all. This type of fracture is found below the gum line, normally under the bone.

In the rare situation of a root fracture found near the crown of the tooth, it is pretty certain that the tooth will die. Although, sometimes, you can save the tooth with a root canal.

An abscess of the bone that surrounds the fracture is common with these types of fractures and very unpleasant.

Vertical Root Fractures

The last type of fracture is the most difficult to deal with. Vertical root fractures involve the tip of the root and cause severe to intense pain, even after you’ve had the nerve removed with a root canal.

The pain you get with these types of fractures comes from the fragmented tooth parts when you put pressure on the tooth, the parts put uneven pressure on the bone.

A root canal is the usual treatment for this sort of fracture as it will ease the pain and clean up the socket and tooth.

Fractures are common and not all of them are painful, but that doesn’t mean you should put off going to the dentist. Regular checkups will keep track of any potentially painful problems and give you dentist an opportunity to fix anything that’s wrong before it gets to the pain stage and save you from going through a whole lot of misery.

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