I had a molar break off partially several years ago. I wasn’t too worried about it because it didn’t hurt and was in the back and not visible. Last year the rest of it just fell off. Again, not worried. The root was still there, so the only thing missing was the top. Recently, it has started hurting like mad, but not consistently. Sometimes I’m fine, but other times the pain shoots through my jaw. Can a broken-off tooth get infected?
Not only can a broken off tooth become infected, yours is already infected. This is a dental emergency and you need to be seen. It will continue to spread until you deal with it. When you think about how close your jaw is to your heart and brain, you do not want the infection getting too far. Believe it or not, people still die from tooth infections.
At this point, the remainder of your tooth will have to be extracted. When you go to the dentist, even if it is just an emergency dental visit, make sure the dentist looks over your other teeth so you don’t end up in the same situation. Prevention is always the most affordable dental care.
The Progression to Needing a Tooth Extraction
At first, your molar just had a simple cavity. This requires an inexpensive filling. If it is left untreated, the decay will grow until you need a dental crown. The cost for that is between five to tens times that of a filling, depending on the dentist.
If the decay reaches the pulp, you are then looking at a root canal treatment and a crown. Your cost has now gone ten to twenty times higher. The next step is tooth extraction, where you are now.
Unfortunately, when you’re missing a tooth it will need to be replaced. If you don’t, the adjacent teeth will drift over or tip which can lead to expensive and painful TMJ problems. Two of the most common tooth replacements are a dental bridge or dental implant. Now you’re at twenty to forty times what a filling would have been.
This is why I want you to have the dentist look over your other teeth. It will save you a load of hassle and money.
This blog is brought to you by Auburn, AL Saturday Dentist, Dr. Raymond Bolt.