If you break a tooth, especially one of your back teeth that is not visible when you talk or smile, you might simply just "let it be." Many people believe that the only reason to get a broken tooth repaired, especially if it does not cause pain, is for cosmetic purposes. This could not be further from the truth. Here are some oral consequences some people may encounter if they do not see their dentists after breaking a tooth.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Broken teeth often have sharp and jagged edges. This can pose a severe threat to your oral health because the jagged broken tooth can lacerate the soft tissues inside your mouth, including your tongue. When you bite down, the sharp edges of your broken tooth can also cut the insides of your cheek.
Oral lacerations from broken teeth may also put you at risk for an oral hemorrhage. The oral mucosa inside your mouth, as well as your tongue, have many blood vessels and capillaries, making them very vascular. Because of this, even small injuries can result in copious bleeding and significant blood loss. Repairing the broken tooth virtually eliminates this risk.
When teeth are broken, it is easier for bacteria and other microorganisms such as fungi to get inside the soft center part of your tooth. Not only can this cause a painful infection, but it can also put you at risk for tooth loss. If the infection is extensive enough, your dentist may be unable to save your tooth despite aggressive antibiotic treatment or a root canal.
Not only do broken teeth raise your risk for dental infections, but they can also put you at risk for systemic infections. This can happen as a result of not being able to brush or floss away food particles that are hiding inside the nooks and crannies of your jagged broken tooth. If not removed, food particles can breed infectious bacteria that can travel through your bloodstream causing infections in other parts of your body. Sometimes, people are unaware that a severe infection, one that causes fever, body aches, and loss of appetite, can be the result of a dental problem such as a broken tooth.
If you break a tooth, visit your dentist as soon as possible. When dentists treat broken teeth quickly, patients may be less likely to encounter infections and soft tissue injuries of the oral cavity.