If your wisdom tooth has broken, it may be time to pay a visit to your dentist. Broken wisdom teeth are a common occurrence, and unfortunately, they can lead to a myriad of health problems both inside of your mouth, and systemically as well. In this article we will tackle some of the lingering questions you may have about broken wisdom teeth, and why they should be removed as soon as possible.
Why do wisdom teeth end up breaking?
There are two main culprits of wisdom tooth fractures:
- Dental decay: A tooth cavity may penetrate through your tooth structure making it vulnerable to breakage. Most wisdom teeth that end up fracturing end up having enormous cavities inside of them.
- Teeth grinding: A small portion of the population grind their teeth at night. In some instances, the pressure is so severe that teeth end up breaking on them, especially if they are not wearing a dental night guard. Wisdom teeth are no exception, and we see a lot of a fractures at our clinic with grinders who have fractured their wisdom teeth.
What happens if your wisdom tooth breaks?
There are a number of problems that can occur both inside your mouth and throughout your whole body if your wisdom tooth breaks on you:
- Dental swelling and infection
- Severe tooth pain and discomfort
- Possible sepsis where an infection spreads to other regions of your body
- Jaw cyst forming due to the infection
- Difficulty open and closing your mouth (a condition known as trismus)
- Gum tissue may start to grow over the tooth leading to a condition known as pericoronitis
Is a broken wisdom tooth a dental emergency?
Absolutely. It’s considered to be an emergency because of the potential adverse effects it can have on your body as mentioned earlier. If your wisdom tooth breaks on you, please visit an emergency oral surgery team immediately.
Also keep in mind that an emergency room does not remove teeth because they do not hire dentists on their staff. At most, an emergency room will place your on pain medications and antibiotics, and refer you to a local dentist in the area.
How much does it cost to extract a broken wisdom tooth?
The average cost to remove a broken wisdom tooth is $300. Prices may vary based on your area, if you happen to have dental insurance, and whether a general dentist or oral surgeon end up removing the tooth. Remember that oral surgeons will typically charge more to remove your wisdom tooth versus a general dentist. They may also recommend that you be sedated from your extraction procedure.
Since broken wisdom teeth only occur if they have erupted, they will be less expensive to remove in comparison to an impacted wisdom tooth.
Will my wisdom tooth fall out on its own?
If your wisdom tooth has broken on you, it will not fall out on its own. The roots of the wisdom tooth are embedded inside of your jawbone, and will require a trained clinician to be able to properly remove it.
How do you fix a broken wisdom tooth?
This will all depend if your wisdom tooth is repairable or not. If your wisdom tooth is fully erupted, functional, and the break is small enough to be restored, your dentist may recommend a tooth filling to repair the damaged area. Most wisdom teeth breaks are large, and since they are so difficult to maintain and keep clean, most dentists will recommend that a broken wisdom tooth be removed.
My wisdom tooth broke, so why do I not feel any pain?
In some instances a wisdom tooth can break without actually exposing the nerve structure inside the tooth. In these circumstances you may not feel pain when it breaks down on you. It is still considered an emergency to have the tooth repaired or removed because the chance of sustaining a dental infection.
What are some symptoms of an infection associated with a broken wisdom tooth?
The following are some symptoms that you will feel if your broken wisdom tooth sustains an infection:
- Facial swelling
- Gum Swelling
- Pain in the area
- Trismus (difficulty opening and closing your mouth)
- Halitosis or bad breath
These are the typical symptoms, but if sepsis occurs, you may also have systemic problems that are directly related to the broken wisdom tooth.
What should I do if my wisdom tooth broke to the gum line?
If your wisdom tooth breaks off at the gum line it needs to be extracted immediately. Not taking care of this issue when it happens can lead to a dental infection that could quickly spread to other areas of the body.
A broken wisdom tooth can lead to a number of health problems inside your body. If your wisdom tooth has recently broken down on you, please visit a dental healthcare professional as soon as possible. If you happen to be in the greater Houston, TX feel free to contact our office today.