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A tooth breaks when it has been weakened by tooth decay, acids, cracks caused by a metal filling or overloading due to clenching or grinding.
Most of the time when a tooth initially breaks it is not very sore. It may occasionally be sensitive to temperature but on the whole, the initial breakage can be accompanied by surprisingly little discomfort.
Because teeth are very resilient they do not cause much discomfort until the problem gets worse. The fact the tooth has broken is a good indication that there is something seriously wrong even if it is not painful.
It will not get better on its own and will always get worse, it’s just a matter of time. The use of temporary filling materials, rubbing sensitive toothpaste and keeping the hole or gap as clean as possible is the best thing to do. If it is sore it is advisable to call us for an urgent appointment to get it looked at sooner. We reserve emergency dentist slots every day and will always try to fit you in on the same day (provided we have the capacity).
When we initially see you for an urgent appointment we will often just place a temporary filling to stabilise the tooth and slow down any decay or damage. Depending on the size and if we have the time available, we will discuss the options for building it up permanently and the costs involved. If you wish to proceed we would then carry out the treatment on the day.
The permanent options for a broken tooth depend on the actual damage done but includes:
Teeth wear down with time but when they wear too fast it can cause a serious issue.
This is caused by problems such as tooth clenching and grinding (bruxism), certain habits or a mismatched bite resulting in some teeth working harder. Certain conditions such as long-term acid reflux (heartburn) or anorexia and bulimia are often associated with severe wear due to the stomach acids being much stronger and dissolving teeth faster.
Some of the signs of teeth wear include:
The most important thing to do is to identify the underlying cause and whenever possible treat this.
Treatment is dictated by the amount of wear. It can range from no treatment to full mouth reconstruction using crowns in severe cases.
At hello dental our expertise in adhesive dentistry means we can rebuild worn teeth with minimal further damage. Our approach is to always minimise the intervention to already vulnerable and damaged teeth. If needed, we are also fortunate to have Waterlase which allows us to carry out certain procedures to lengthen the tooth without drastic surgery and as a result with much less discomfort.
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