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A tooth fractures or breaks due to an accident or biting on hard surfaces. Dental braces can also cause fractures in the teeth, if they are not fitted properly. Cavities may weaken the tooth structure and cause the tooth to break off. Minor chips or cracks in the tooth can be ignored, but if the pulp (nerve tissue)  is exposed , the person suffers from toothache.

If a tooth cause pain when you are eating cold or hot food and there is no cavity in the tooth, the problem is likely to be caused by a tooth fracture. Biting hard objects with a fractured tooth is likely to be painful. The nerve tissue is exposed and the tooth may bleed. Root canal treatment may be required  for such teeth. If the nerves are not exposed, the dentist may use filling material in the cracks. A crown is fixed on the tooth to prevent further damage. Sometimes, even a crown cannot prevent pain, so a root canal is required.

 Sometimes a tooth has cavities which weaken the structure of  the tooth and part of the tooth may break off. Some teeth like the molars have more than one root, so the root of  the part of the tooth that remains can be retained. It is usually covered by a crown. A root canal is done to remove the remaining roots. However, most dentists recommend removal of the entire tooth.

If the tooth is broken off due to an accident, it can be restored if suitable precautions are taken. The broken off  tooth piece can be cemented back by a dentist . The broken tooth piece should kept in salted water. For children  no additional treatment is required, but for adults a root canal may be required.

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