What to do With Broken Teeth: Removing Them

You may have a broken piece of tooth left inside your mouth which you have just about forgotten about. Until it starts to cause pain! This tooth fragment may have been the result of a broken down tooth which has continued to disintegrate over the years. Obviously if the tooth fragment is causing pain then you have no choice but to have it removed. But should you still bother removing it if it’s not hurting you? Or would it be okay to just leave it alone?

Pros of Removing a Broken Tooth

1. A broken tooth fragment can become infected. Any tooth fragment left behind in your mouth can cause an infection. And since not all infections are necessarily painful you may not even be aware that there is an infection inside your mouth! Leaving an infected tooth fragment behind can affect other teeth as well as your overall health. Tooth infections can spread from the teeth to the surrounding bone and from there to the rest of your body. It can alter your mood and well being and cause unexplained headaches or sinus issues which you won’t even attribute to the broken tooth. So it is definitely better to have the tooth fragment removed and not have to worry about such problems down the line.

2. Even a small piece of tooth can cause big pain. A broken tooth fragment left inside your jaw can cause pain at anytime. Each tooth root has its its own nerve, so even the smallest tooth fragment will contain a nerve which can cause you pain.

  • Leaving a tooth fragment behind is almost never acceptable. If your dentist has tried to remove a tooth but failed, request an immediate referral to an oral surgeon. In fact it is better if you can get the referral and go immediately to the oral surgeon while you are still numbed up in the region. The only exception to this when you are actually allowed to leave a piece inside is when it is a very small piece of a wisdom tooth and the fragment has actually been dislodged from its original position but is just too deep to retrieve. These cases may be left alone so long as you are made fully aware of the situation and it gets monitored for several months afterwards.

3. A neglected broken tooth can lead to further issues in the entire region. Broken teeth fragments are full of bacteria and decay. The cavity or infection can slowly gradually spread from these tooth fragments to the adjacent teeth and surrounding bone.

  • Leaving a broken piece of tooth can slowly cause adjacent teeth to develop a cavity as the result of the area trapping food and bacteria
  • It becomes harder to clean the area of your mouth where the broken tooth is located and you may not be able to clean it as well without even knowing. Neglecting to clean your teeth and gums can trigger widespread cavities and even gum disease within this region.

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What to do With Broken Teeth: How to Decide