What to Do When Your Molar Breaks off at the Gum Line?

Posted by Lutke Dental 2023-05-01

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Breaking a tooth is never a pleasant experience. Unfortunately, broken teeth and a typical dental emergency with the breaks splitting in severity from minor chips to complete fractures. Broken teeth are painful and need prompt treatment from a dentist nearby for restoration or extraction.

If you think one of your molars has broken beneath the gum line, visit the dentist in Plano, TX. Unfortunately, if your dentist is unavailable, you can seek help from an emergency room.

This article explains the actions to take if one of your molars breaks off your gum line giving you the reasons for the breakage.

Understanding Molar Breakage: Causes and Risk Factors

Molars can break because of many reasons. Common causes of molar breakage include accidentally biting complex foods or objects, untreated cavities resulting in decay, recurrent cavities, unexpected changes in mouth temperature, chronic teeth grinding, and weakened molars from excessive fillings.

If you have silver amalgam fillings in cavities in the molars, amalgam swells with heat making the tooth enamel prone to cracks. Exposure to rapid temperature changes puts your molars at risk of cracking. Besides the above, having acidic foods frequently can weaken tooth enamel putting them at an increased risk of cracking because the acids cause enamel erosion. Broken molars are more common now than earlier, partly because we save more teeth than before. In addition to the above problems, molars can weaken from therapies like root canals if you don’t restore them as the dentist recommends.

Emergency Steps to Take When Your Molar Breaks off at the Gum Line

If a molar broke off at gum line, you would likely feel the lost part of the tooth with your tongue. In addition, you may feel jagged and sharp edges of the fragment left over in your gums. While you might find it challenging to diagnose whether your molar has broken, a dentist with the appropriate tools and infrastructure can identify the problem. In addition, you may taste blood from the blood vessels within the tooth or from abrasions on your cheeks and tongue.

The sharp edges of the broken molar can cause inflammation in the surrounding gums or tongue from constant rubbing. You will likely experience pain from hot and cold foods and beverages.

Whether you have a broken molar or any other dental emergency, the optimal solution is to visit your dentist can get them to examine your tooth. The sooner you reach the dentist, the better your chances of having a good outcome from the appointment without complications.

If part of your broken molar is trapped beneath the gum line, chances are high that it has caused significant damage and may require removal.

Treatment Options for Broken Molars: Restoration and Extraction

Broken molars are called subgingival fractures. The treatment options for such fractures depend on the severity of the breakage and how soon you get treatment. Occasionally your dentist might consider re-contouring the bone in a crown-lengthening procedure to fix your broken molar. If you have fragments of the fractured molar, the dentist can bond them together. However, they recommend a tooth extraction if the damage extends beneath the gum line.

Broken molars below the gum line are sometimes recommended extrusion, which entails removing the tooth slowly from the socket. The technique helps the dentist save a molar broken below the gum line. After this procedure, you must wear braces or aligners that induce downward forces for many weeks on the broken molar to pull the top above your gum line. After exposing your tooth, the dentist restores it with a dental crown.

If you have suffered minor damage, generally unlikely if the break is below the gum line, the dentist fills the tooth with tooth-colored composite resin to fix it. They may also suggest a dental crown to cover the exposed portion of the molar.

Unfortunately, if your molar is beyond repair, the dentist recommends removing the tooth and getting replacements, like dental implants from periodontics in Plano, TX, after completing the extraction. Dental implants remain with you for life, making them an excellent option to replace missing teeth.

If your molar has broken off at the gum line, the sooner you get treatment for the problem, the better for your oral health. Ignoring therapy for the condition increases your risk of problems with infections, dental abscesses, and nerve damage needing extensive treatments from the Plano dentist. Therefore, get your broken molar treated as soon as possible before your condition aggravates and you need expensive remedies to save your tooth.

Lutke Dental receives many patients with molars broken beneath the gum line and offers treatment after examining their situation. If you accidentally broke your tooth and think part of it is hidden beneath your gums, arrange a meeting with them to determine how best they can save your tooth with treatments or suggest alternatives.

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