The right side of my face is swollen and tight because I broke my second molar tooth two weeks ago. The tooth was weak from a deep silver filling over 15 years old. Last weekend, I heard and felt the tooth crack while eating dinner. Eventually, it broke off in my mouth. I saved the broken piece after I mistakenly bit it. The tooth left a foul taste in my mouth, but I rinsed my mouth with Listerine. I have not thought about replacing the tooth, but it is sore. Will the pain eventually go away? Thank you, Milton, from Columbus, OH
Thank you for your question. Dr. Cha would need to examine and x-ray your tooth to evaluate its condition. Still, we will generally explain what to expect with a broken tooth.
Will the Pain from a Broken Tooth Go Away?
Infection often causes pain in a broken tooth, which will not go away until the pulp (the living tissue and nerves) inside the tooth die. Without intervention, the infection causing tightness and facial swelling will continue to spread. A dentist may be able to preserve your tooth with root canal treatment to prevent further damage.
How Will a Dentist Treat Your Broken Tooth?
Treatment for a broken tooth depends on the location and extent of the damage. If the tooth is savable, a dentist or endodontist (root canal specialist) will perform root canal therapy. You can expect these steps:
- Prescribe an antibiotic to ensure the infection does not return
- Remove the infection with root canal treatment and fill the tooth with a dental filler material
- Prepare the tooth for a crown, which may require building up the tooth with dental composite to ensure a crown will stay in place
If the tooth is not savable, a dentist will recommend removal and a dental implant.
If you have dental anxiety, talk to a dentist about it and ask about your options for sedation to help you relax. If you do not have a current dentist, look best results, look for one with advanced root canal therapy and cosmetic dentistry training.
Tulsa, Oklahoma, cosmetic dentist Dr. Jerome Cha sponsors this post.