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What happens if a broken tooth goes untreated?

I am a 42 year old male and I have a broken tooth. What happens if a broken tooth goes untreated?

8 Answers

It can get infected and cause facial swelling! Go get it treated!

Sorry to hear about your broken tooth. There are a few things that will probably happen over time, depending on the nature of break. One, the tooth may get a cavity or infection. If it is a small break this is unlikely to happen; at least not for a little while. However, if it is a large break it can happen rather soon. When a tooth breaks it usually loses its enamel covering. The layers under the enamel are porous and allow bacteria to get inside a lot easier.
This could mean that instead of fixing your tooth with a simple filling, it requires a root canal and crown, or even the loss of the tooth and an implant (the treatment gets more involved and much more expensive). Second, the tooth opposing the broken one will start to enter the space of the broken one. This will not be a problem and go unnoticed until you try to restore the broken one. At this point you would have to have work on both the opposing tooth and the broken tooth to make everything fit. Hope this helps.

My best to you!

William F. Scott IV, DMD
Further deterioration and progression of decay which can lead to a root canal or possibly even losing the tooth.
Infection is the first concern. The infection would most likely start in the nerve chamber of the tooth and create an abcess infection. If the broken tooth had a root canal and the nerve has been removed the chances of pain or infection are much reduced. You can still have infection in the gum from broken pieces moving around and irritating the gums.
A broken tooth is exposed to bacteria, which can lead to decay and possible infection if not treated immediately.
Please see a dentist to have it checked. The solution is usually less costly and easiest when it is treated earlier rather than later especially if you are not having any discomfort. If left untreated, you could be in store for pain, swelling, and ultimately, loss of the tooth. Please don't gamble; have it checked. 
The answer to that question all depends on the severity of the tooth break. If it is just a small fracture then the tooth can be in not treated for quite some time but it’s recommended that it is repaired before more damage or other issues occur. If the tooth fracture is quite large and approaching the nerve tissue that is a more severe issue. That tooth should be treated immediately or you can expect to have a severe pain, root canal and possible future extraction. If the tooth is fractured quite severely extraction may be your only option. So the best way to figure this out is to of course visit your dentist have them take an x-ray and have a good discussion with them. Without an x-ray and exam this question is almost impossible to answer for you

Dr Jensen
A "broken" tooth is exposed to food and bacteria and can develop decay, which if left untreated can lead to further infection in the nerve and bone and soft tissue space.