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Can broken teeth cause health problems? The answer is yes. There are many reasons to keep your teeth healthy and intact, but preventing other health problems is one of the most important. If you have a broken tooth, depending on how severe it is, it may be a dental emergency, and you should speak to an emergency dentist for further advice. Let’s take a look at the problems caused by broken teeth.


Causes of broken teeth


Several factors can lead to broken teeth, including

  • Biting hard foods, such as hard candy, popcorn kernels or even crunching ice
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism) can wear down tooth enamel
  • Large or multiple teeth restorations, e.g. fillings
  • Trauma or injury
  • Poor oral health care can lead to rotten teeth


How can broken teeth cause health problems?


Broken teeth can cause alignment issues in the mouth, leading to difficulty chewing and speaking. However, infection is one of the most severe repercussions of damaged teeth.

When a tooth breaks, the inner pulp may become exposed to bacteria, leading to infection. If the infection spreads, it can cause serious health problems like sepsis. Some of the oral health and other issues that may arise are outlined below.


can broken teeth cause other health problems brightonGum disease

When left untreated, a broken tooth can result in gum damage and permanent damage to the tooth.

Periodontitis (advanced gum disease) can make everyday activities like talking and eating more difficult.

It can also lead to numerous medical issues and nutritional deficiencies.            


Infection of tissues and bones


A dental abscess (infection) caused by a broken tooth may lead to a dental emergency if it spreads to the facial bones and may require surgical removal to stop it. If you have an infection, arrange to see a dentist as early as possible for treatment.




Broken teeth can lead to an increase in bacteria. Mouth bacteria have been linked to various health problems, including dementia. Bacteria can spread through the bloodstream into the brain, exacerbating the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s. 


Heart disease


Looking after your oral health can reduce the levels of mouth bacteria associated with health issues. Heart disease has been associated with mouth bacteria that travel to the heart in the bloodstream. Bacteria can accumulate around the heart valves and arteries, causing heart failure.




A broken tooth does not cause diabetes. However, a broken tooth can be a severe problem for someone with diabetes as they are at a higher risk of infection and serious complications. A broken tooth can also lead to pain and disability. If you have diabetes, you must prioritise your oral health to avoid other health problems.


Respiratory Problems


The bacteria from broken teeth may travel to the lungs in the bloodstream or be breathed in. This can lead to various respiratory diseases, including chronic obstructive airway disease (COPD), pneumonia and bronchitis.


Erectile Dysfunction


Men with periodontal disease are more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction. Taking care of your oral health and ensuring you get early treatment for a broken tooth could prevent this issue.


How to Treat Broken Teeth


There are several treatments to repair a broken tooth. The one we choose will depend on several factors, including how extensive the damage is and whether you have presented as a dental emergency. In the case of a dental emergency, the initial treatment an emergency dentist carries out will be to make you comfortable—for example, making sure you are pain-free. It may be necessary to do a temporary repair until a more permanent solution can be performed. Treatments include:

  • Dental bonding—this repairs minor chips in a tooth to restore its appearance.
  • Filling—a minor break can be fixed with a filling to restore function and appearance.
  • A dental crown—can be fitted over a broken tooth to restore function and appearance.
  • Root canal treatment—used to repair a tooth that is infected or decayed. The procedure involves removing the damaged tissue inside the tooth, cleaning and disinfecting it, and sealing it with a filling.
  • Dental implant—Broken teeth that cannot be fixed can be extracted and replaced with a dental implant. Embedded into the jawbone and topped with a crown, a dental implant is a natural-looking replacement that functions like a natural tooth.


Can broken teeth cause health problems? The Takeaway


Broken teeth may lead to health problems if they are not treated promptly. Be sure to take care of your oral health, so you don’t need to see an emergency dentist. Get in touch with us here at Bright-on Bay Dental if you have any concerns—especially if you have a dental emergency.




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