Naturally, the human teeth are remarkably strong. The permanent teeth are made in such a way that they can last for a lifetime. But sometimes due to one reason or the other, our teeth can crack, chip or break. Moreover, there are numerous reasons why your one or more of your teeth can get damaged. Eating hard foods, dental trauma, untreated cavities and having a large old filling are some of the possible reasons why your tooth can crack, break or chip.
Well, I don’t know if you are aware that there are different types of tooth damage. A broken or chipped tooth may not necessarily cause immediate pain, it may not hurt at all. Whether a broken or chipped tooth should hurt or not, depends on how severe the damage is. Minor tooth fractures may only affect the appearance of your tooth but it does not cause pain. The tooth can only hurt if a large piece of it is broken off, especially when the tooth pulp is exposed as a result of the damage.
The tooth pulp is the soft inner layer of the tooth. You might experience occasional severe tooth pain when chewing and also extreme sensitivity to hot and cold if the pulp are exposed. So, let’s look at the various types of tooth damage and identify the ones that hurts.
Types of tooth damage
- Chip: this is a minor tooth damage that does not necessarily need much treatment. A chipped tooth shouldn’t hurt at all. Dentists usually recommended repairing small chips and breaks with dental bonding or even a filling. The dentist may even polish and smoothen out the chipped area.
- Broken cusp: this type of tooth damage does not cause tooth pain. It involves the damage of tooth’s chewing surface only. The crack does not extend to the tooth pulp. During treatments, the dentist might suggest repairing a broken cusp with a dental crown.
- Cracked tooth: cracked tooth is a severe tooth fracture that may involve the whole tooth. The crack usually extends from the chewing surface (enamel) down to the pulp. The crack may even damage the living tissues contained in the pulp such as tooth nerves. A cracked tooth always come with lots of pain and discomforts, how it’s repaired totally depends on the severity of the damages. Smaller cracks be repaired with filling or crowns. In most cases, root canal may be needed if the pulp is severely damaged.
- Split tooth: this type of tooth damage is mostly as a result of untreated cracked tooth. It’s a more advanced form of tooth crack, the tooth splits vertically into two separate parts. Split tooth can cause severe pain and extreme discomforts. The cracks are more larger, they extends from the tooth surface down to the tooth root, causing a division on the tooth structure. Depending on how severe the damages are, the affected tooth can either be saved or extracted.
- Vertical breaks or split root: this is more like split tooth, but it occurs in a different way. The cracks start in the root of the tooth and extends upward toward the chewing surface.(1) These type of tooth damage can actually cause severe damages to the tooth root. If it’s not treated properly you may even get infected. Obviously, the split can cause extreme pain and discomforts. Also, there are few treatments options available, the dentist might suggest that the affected tooth should be removed.
Broken Tooth No Pain
Like I said earlier, tooth with minor chips or cracks usually along the edges don’t cause any pain. If you’re only missing a small piece of your enamel, then there may be no need to panic. If you have a broken tooth but you don’t feel any pain from there, it means that your tooth pulp was not affected. Cases like minor chips and fractures only damages the tooth’s outer covering, the damages does not extend to the teeth pulps and nerves. Treatments for “broken tooth no pain” is less complex when compared to serious breaks and fractures that may require more complex treatments or extraction.
Available Treatments Options
There are numerous available tooth repair treatments that can be used to restore your smile. Although the chipped or fractured tooth might not result to any tooth pain, but your tongue and nearby body tissues can get hurt by the sharp edges. If the chipped tooth is among the front teeth, the dentist may suggest a repair by smoothing the edge and inserting a tooth-coloured crown or filling. Smoothing the rough edges will help to prevent the damaged surface from cutting your tongue or lips.
However, dental crowns is a popular, recommended tooth restoration treatment for so many types of splits and breaks. Crowns can be used to restore the normal teeth structure in certain dental problems such as tooth decay, broken cusps, split roots or vertical breaks, split molars and so on. Apart from crowns, minor cracks and fractures can also be repaired with specialised tooth cement. Since there is no pain or infection, root canal treatment is not always necessary for cracked and chipped teeth. (2) In one of my articles, I gave a list of tooth repair procedures. You can read the post here – 5 ways to repair a broken tooth.
What to do if there is tooth pain
Peradventure your fractured or broken tooth is much more damaged than you thought. It’s possible that you might be seeing the damage as just a minor fracture without knowing it actually extended deep into the affected tooth. If you experience any pain, the best thing to do is to see a dentist, the dentist can carry out some few tests in order to determine the severity of the damage. Well, at home you can follow these tips in order to relieve the pain and discomforts if there’s any.
- Take a suitable, recommended over-counter pain reliever if the pain is too intense.
- Grab an ice pack and wrap it up with a small towel. Apply the ice pack to your cheek directly above the affected tooth. This will help to reduce the pain and swelling if there’s any.
- If the tooth is causing bleeding, you can stop the bleeding by applying pressure. Apply pressure on the bleeding areas around the tooth using a gauze or wet teabag.
- For a small fracture, you can repair it temporarily for the meantime. Go to a drug store and request for temporary dental cement, filling or crown material. On my previous article I revealed – how to fix a cracked tooth at home yourself.
- Finally, even if the pain is not much, please don’t ever ignore it. Get an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible. You can also try this home remedies for tooth pain.