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Why Is Decay-Induced Tooth Breakage An Emergency?

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If you are a sports enthusiast or if you enjoy rough-housing with your children, then you may be used to scrapes, cuts, and bruises. An occasional mouth injury may crop up as well. However, what happens when a tooth cracks and it is not directly connected to an injury? Is this really an emergency like a completely dislodged tooth? Well, if the crack is caused by decay, then this is a decay-induced break that may mean a trip to the emergency dentist. Keep reading to learn why.

Decay May Be Far-Reaching

Teeth will crack when dental decay is so widespread that the overall structure of the tooth is compromised. In some situations, this may mean that the cavity has reached deep into the tooth to infect the pulp, root, and nerve. These situations are serious and typically involve root canals, in-tooth antibiotic treatment, and the administration of oral antibiotics. 

In more severe cases, the infection may reach into the soft tissues. When bacteria invade the gingiva and the periodontal ligaments, the microorganisms can spread. Heart infections are possible, especially for individuals who are already immune compromised. Additionally, decay can reach the bone, and bacteria can easily spread to the entire bloodstream and create a septic situation. Since these serious issues are a concern, it is wise to seek out immediate care to find out how much the infection has spread.

More Of The Tooth May Crack

If decay has already caused a crack to develop, then it may not be a shock to learn that more of the tooth may crack if you continue to use the tooth. This may not seem like an emergency issue, especially if the tooth is already damaged. However, if too much of the tooth breaks away, then it cannot be saved. Specifically, if breaks occur beneath the gumline, the tooth may need to be pulled.

If you are able to seek treatment before a more serious crack develops, then your dentist can complete a routine root canal and fit you with a crown. In most cases, you will need to retain somewhere between one-half and one-quarter of the original tooth or a crown cannot be placed in your mouth. Receiving immediate treatment can help to retain just enough of the tooth for a crown to adhere properly.

If you want to know more about dental cracks and when to seek immediate or emergency dental care, speak with a dental professional.