A Tooth Broke in Half, Black Inside: What to Do?
Looking into the mirror and seeing a tooth broke in half that is black inside can be a terrifying experience. A lot of questions will rush into your head: What should I do? Why is this happening to me? Do I need to call an Emergency Dentist? While the answer to some of these questions is obvious, there are a lot of things people don’t know about broken teeth.
Painful and not so pleasant to the eyes, a broken tooth is more unaesthetic than dangerous. However, if blackness is also involved, the problem might be more complex than it seems. Let’s take a look at the ins and outs of tooth problems.
What is the Cause of a Broken Tooth?
The most common cause of broken teeth is biting something really hard. Our teeth are usually durable enough. However, sometimes accidents can still result in us having to visit the local dentist. An already chipped tooth, for example, will break more easily than a normal, healthy one. That’s why keeping your teeth clean and taken care of is very important.
Why Is It Black Inside?
Unless it happened by accident, breaking a tooth is something surprising. No one expects to wake up one day with a black and broken tooth, especially if it seemed healthy before. It’s important to know how a tooth looks inside before delving deeper into it.
The white protective layer of teeth is called enamel and it covers the sensitive inner parts. Broken enamel exposes the dentin or the pulp. So in short, the blackness is actually coming from the inside and not from the outside. Most of the time, it points toward a diseased or even dead tooth. However, there are a couple of reasons for ending up with a tooth that broke in half and is black inside.
The pulp is the innermost part of the teeth and it houses the blood vessels and nerves. The condition known as pulpitis represents the inflammation of the pulp. Sensitivity to cold or hot food and drinks is the most common symptom of pulpitis. More importantly, without any treatment, it can develop into necrosis.
Necrosis means that the pulp is dying. That sounds dramatic, but in fact, it means that no more blood is supplied to the teeth. And as a result, the leftover nerves and tissues tend to become black or brown.
Most of us have experienced tooth decay at least once in our lives. It’s not pleasant and can lead to further problems. Tooth decay happens when bacteria start eating the enamel. Without proper treatment, it can lead to damage of the pulp or dentin layer. Tooth decay is also a common cause of pulp necrosis and is basically a precursor of it.
A decayed tooth is often noticeable before it breaks. However, sometimes the bacteria start chewing at the bottom or behind the teeth. That is harder to notice and can lead to a fractured tooth and blackness.
There is also a chance that the tooth is simply stained. Those types of stains are known as intrinsic stains, as a result of their presence inside the tooth. They occur as a result of dark material penetrating the tooth during the tooth development process.
If the broken tooth already has a filling, chances are that it is the main cause of blackness. Most of the materials that doctors use go through oxidation over time and start turning brown or dark.
A Visit to The Dentist!
Now that you know the common causes of why a tooth broke in half may be black inside, what’s next? We always recommend going to the dentist as soon as the tooth breaks. It doesn’t matter if you know it’s just a filling or a stain — a broken tooth will need a check up. If it’s left as it is, it will lead to infections and further pain.
It’s important to know that some dentists are only available for medical emergencies as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. There has been a strong push for establishing a virtual oral health line to provide advice to patients. One such initiative is the one created by JADA, which has shown a high success rate.
No matter how you end up at the dentist, there are a couple of procedures that they could do. Even though they might seem scary, no dentist will perform any procedure without using an anesthetic first. So no need to worry about pain!
While we can’t really use the word lucky, some teeth will only require a simple procedure — root canal therapy. A root canal involves the cleaning and removing of the diseased pulp. It’s the go-to treatment for pulpitis and pulp necrosis.
If root canals and fillings are not enough, a dentist can choose to place a crown on the tooth. A crown is a ceramic or metal cap that goes over the broken tooth. Its role is to protect teeth and to avoid further damage.
No matter how much the dentist will try, sometimes an extraction is the only option. Even the simple thought of having a tooth removed can scare most people. However, thanks to the evolution of medicine, modern tooth removals are painless.
How to Protect Your Teeth?
We have compiled a list of tips that will help you avoid having a tooth emergency:
- Brush the teeth at least twice a day.
- Avoid biting hard food with already problematic teeth.
- Call your dentist as soon as you notice something suspicious.
- Go for a routine dental check twice a year, or more frequently if recommended by your dentist.
- Use mouthwash to clear out any bacteria that could eat out the enamel of your teeth.
Overall, no matter how hard we try, tooth damage seems inevitable. Accidents happen even if we regularly brush our teeth. Nevertheless, it’s important to know what to do when we manage to get a tooth broken in half and black inside. A visit to the emergency dental care center is always the best solution when faced with any kind of teeth problems. Take care of your teeth and don’t be afraid to ask for professional help!