Leaving a chipped tooth untreated can have serious consequences. Without professional treatment, a broken tooth is susceptible to an infection that only worsens over time. This infection can spread to the neck and head, causing all kinds of health problems. Although rare, a chipped tooth may be life-threatening.
Bacteria can enter the cracked tooth and spread, leading to an abscess or a bag of bacteria that can cause an infection. This infection, if left unnoticed, can spread to other parts of the body and become a serious health problem. In addition, a broken tooth can often cause nerve damage and can ultimately result in root canal treatment. If a cracked tooth is not treated, the pulp and other tissues inside can be infected.
Once this occurs, the chance of losing your tooth increases. It is important to remember that the sooner appropriate measures are taken, the more likely you are to prevent the progression of the crack, relieve pain and save the tooth. You may not feel any pain when you damage a tooth for the first time, but this shouldn't stop you from booking a visit with your dentist right away. If you delay or even skip the appointment, the broken or chipped tooth can end up infected and cause irreversible damage.
An untreated cracked tooth can cause tooth sensitivity, tooth decay, and ultimately tooth loss. If a tooth has broken, it's important to schedule an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible so that he or she can be evaluated and treated if necessary. Sometimes, a splinter or fracture exposes the pulp of the tooth. This portion houses all the nerves and is incredibly vulnerable without enamel and dentin protection.
Because of the damage, harmful oral bacteria could easily penetrate and infect nerves and cause severe toothache. When this happens, it may cause you to need invasive treatment, such as root canal therapy, to help relieve pain and save the tooth. The best way to prevent this in the first place is to visit the dentist immediately after having suffered oral trauma. Cavities create holes that weaken teeth from the inside, increasing the risk of breaking or chipping once the tooth can no longer withstand biting and chewing.
A broken tooth can range from a small splinter to a complete tooth breakage from the outside of the enamel, leaving the pulp and dentin exposed. It is necessary to remove the bone and gum around the tooth in cases of tooth fracture far below the gum, or even to the level of the bone to heal it. Your dentist will consider some options depending on the damage and previous condition of your chipped or cracked tooth. It may seem strange but even old fillings or restorations designed to strengthen and protect teeth can cause a chipped or broken tooth.
If detected early, your dentist can fill the crack or splinter with specialized dental cement to prevent future pain or infection. As soon as you experience pain that comes and goes which becomes more intense when biting and is triggered by consuming something hot or cold it is best to seek immediate repair of a cracked tooth. Compared to other complications such as gum disease, tooth loss or oral cancer it may seem like having a broken tooth is no big deal but it is important to remember that leaving it untreated can lead to serious consequences such as decay, sensitivity and ultimately loss of your teeth.