Health Conditions Associated With Broken Teeth

Broken teeth not only affect your appearance, but they can also lead to other health problems. If you break a tooth, regardless of whether or not you have pain, visit your family dentistry practice as soon as possible. Here are some health consequences associated with broken teeth and what you can do about them.

Tooth Abscess

A broken tooth can allow infection-causing bacteria to get inside the pulp. This can cause a painful and serious condition of the pulp known as pulpitis. This condition refers to the inflammation of the pulp of your tooth and is typically caused by a bacterial abscess. The pulp provides your tooth with essential nutrients to keep it healthy. It contains nerves and blood vessels, and if abscesses of the pulp are not addressed right away, your dentist may need to extract the tooth.

If the abscess is recognized early on, however, root canal therapy may help preserve the tooth. If you break a tooth and develop severe pain, inflammation of the soft tissue surrounding the tooth, drainage, or a bad taste in your mouth when you bite down, make an appointment with your dentist. He or she will take an x-ray of the affected tooth, and based on the findings of the x-ray, your dentist will either incise and drain the abscess, suggest a root canal, or recommend that you have the tooth extracted. 

Sinus Infections

A bacterial sinus infection may be another health consequence of a broken tooth. You may be more likely to get a sinus infection from the bacteria from a top broken tooth rather than from a bottom tooth. This is because top teeth are closer in proximity to your sinuses than your bottom teeth. Sinus infections caused by dental bacteria can be quite severe and resistant to treatment.

Also, severe or long-standing sinus infections may affect one or more of your cranial nerves such as your facial or trigeminal nerve. If these nerves become inflamed or damaged because of a sinus infection, you may experience numbness or burning sensations in your face. You may also experience severe, stabbing facial pain, pricking sensations, and facial flushing. 

If you break a tooth, make an appointment with your family dentist as soon as possible. When early treatment is implemented for a broken tooth, you are less likely to experience complications such as a dental abscess, severe pain, pulpitis, sinus infections, and cranial nerve involvement.