I broke one of my molars a few years ago, and since I was young and foolish, decided not to get it looked at. By the time I got around to it, it was already missing half of it. Again, I felt I didn’t need to do anything about it since it didn’t hurt. Awhile after that the rest of it fell out, leaving the rest of the tooth under my gum still there. Now I am getting intense pain from the hole, going from the tooth through my jaw into my chin. The pain doesn’t last all day, it comes and goes, but when it comes it’s very difficult to work, as my job requires me to be on the phone for the majority of the time, and this seems to aggravate it. What can I do to get rid of this? Is it dangerous to leave that much of a tooth in the mouth? I can see a small piece of it jutting up on the inside of the former tooth, and I want to know if theres a danger of infection or anything or if I need to go in and get it removed.
– Brian in Nova Scotia
You already HAVE an infection. That’s what’s going on, and that’s what’s causing the pain. Yes, you should get the tooth out–what’s left of it. It can be dangerous.
Infections in your jaw are close to your brain and have been know sometimes to spread to the brain. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it’s possible. So I wouldn’t mess with this.
And while you’re at it, I’d have the dentist look at your other teeth. Probably, the reason this molar broke originally was that it had a large cavity in it. Once upon a time that was a small cavity and only required a small, inexpensive filling. Then, when it doesn’t get attended to, it grows into a big cavity and the tooth needs a big filling instead of a small filling. Then, as time goes by, it needs a dental crown instead of a filling, and the cost is five to ten times what it originally would have been. Then it needs a root canal treatment AND a crown, and now the cost is ten to twenty times what it started to be. And then it needs to be extracted. And if missing teeth aren’t replaced, the remaining teeth tip over and drift into the empty spaces and screw up your bite, and you wake up one day and have TMJ disorder and need major reconstruction. And replacing a tooth requires a dental bridge or a dental implant, at a cost 15 to 40 times of what the little filling would have been.
It’s always cheapest and least complicated to have checkups and fix everything while they’re small problems. But God bless the people who procrastinate their dental care, because if everyone just had regular checkups very few people would need major dental work and dentistry wouldn’t be nearly as profitable as it is.
– Dr. Hall
Read more about tooth infection.
|We thank our advertisers who help fund this site.|
About David A. Hall
Dr. David A. Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does advanced internet marketing for dentists.
Leave a Reply