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264 S Peters Rd, Knoxville, TN 37923

Why Did My Tooth Break?

Not every broken tooth is the result of a blow to the face or jaw. Drs. Malone and Dickenson at Knoxville Smiles may be able to determine the cause of your break and can spot problems in your mouth that may cause another tooth to break someday. They’ll offer treatment to restore or replace your broken tooth, if it can’t be saved, and also preventative treatments to help you preserve your teeth for your lifetime.

Although a broken or chipped tooth may be a surprise to you, multiple factors may have been at work in your mouth that set you up for this eventual problem. In some cases, biting on something hard, like a nut shell or bone has caused a fissure in the tooth enamel that might or might not precipitate an immediate break. The tooth structure may have been weakened by a cavity. If a filling was large, the tooth structure around the filling could be too thin to withstand the constant wear and tear of biting and chewing. Your dental enamel may be crazed with fine fractures due to the even greater forces of bruxism (involuntary nighttime teeth grinding). Malocclusion may cause some of your upper and lower teeth to interfere with each other when you eat. Just as in the case of bruxism, the added stress of tooth-on-tooth impact and grinding can result in crazing and worn down enamel.

On a tooth that has undergone any of these weakening forces, even chewing soft foods may be “the final straw.”

If you experience a broken tooth, you should see a dentist as soon as possible. A fracture that exposes tooth roots will be immediately painful and constitutes an urgent situation. If the fracture is not painful or only a small chip, the sharp edge will still be uncomfortable to your tongue, lips or inside your cheeks. The damaged area will be susceptible to tooth decay and needs to be treated.

With today’s materials and methods, there are often treatment options for restoring you to optimal oral health and appearance. You may need a dental crown, root canal and crown, or tooth extraction followed by tooth replacement with a bridge or implant crown. In the case of a minor chip, other options such as bonding or a veneer might be a solution. Our dentists are experienced restorative experts, who will will kindly lead you through any choices and gently care for you needs.

Our dentists and hygienists are always on the lookout for occlusal conditions, fine cracks in your tooth enamel, excessive wear patterns on your enamel, and signs of decay or periodontal infection (gum disease) that should be treated to prevent damage to your teeth, tooth roots, and the periodontal tissue that supports and protects your tooth roots. We take fine “preventive care” of our patients to minimize the aging of your teeth.

Dr. Stephen K. Malone and Dr. Brent M. Dickenson welcome new patients to their Knoxville practice on S. Peters Road. If you have a broken or chipped tooth, our experienced dentists will compassionately eliminate discomfort and help you achieve restored oral health and a beautiful smile. If you are in pain, we understand this is an urgent situation and will make every attempt to see you immediately. Give our friendly office a call at (865) 539-1776.