You might accidentally bite down on something hard, suffered a fall or accident, or been hit in the face, any of which can result in a fractured tooth.
Whether you know the tooth is fractured or not, seeking dental help when you have suffered a head injury is important, because living with a fractured tooth can be dangerous.
Dental AbscessWhen you fracture a tooth, many times the break extends past the enamel into the dentin. The dentin layer houses hollow channels that lead to the pulp and the root of the tooth. Bacteria spread into the tooth, down to the root.
The bacteria multiply and cause an infection. As the infection grows, it runs out of space, and therefore spills out into the jawbone, contained in a sac (which attempts to hold the infection in place and prevent further spread) known as an abscess.
Issues Caused by an AbscessAbscesses are often the source of significant dental pain. This pain often goes untreated, however, as it is often written off as a simple toothache. If the pain is severe enough, most will seek treatment, but there are some instances where abscesses are completely painless. Abscesses don't just go away; they require dental treatment.
Without treatment, the infection can eventually spread and cause several other issues, including:
|•||Chronic sinus infections.|
|•||Osteomyelitis, an infection in the alveolar bone.|
|•||Cavernous sinus thrombosis, or a blood clot in the base of the skull, due to bacteria, that can cause a stroke.|
|•||Sepsis. Blood clots throughout the body due to an infection spreading into the bloodstream. Sepsis can cause heart attack, stroke and even death.|
See Your DentistEven if you think your teeth are fine after suffering a head injury, or think you may have harmed a tooth by biting down on something hard, you should always seek dental treatment. Your dentist will be able to give you a thorough exam, complete with X-rays, and, if damage is discovered, provide treatment right away.
Whether It's a filling, a crown or a root canal, these treatments will help to stop infection and keep not just your mouth, but your whole body happy and healthy.
Please contact our office if you have any questions about living with fractured teeth!