11 Stretton Court,
Stretton Road, Great Glen,
Leicester LE8 9HB
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Broken Teeth

Helping to restore the function of your teeth

Broken teeth are a common dental emergency.

Our teeth are extremely strong but they can chip, crack (fracture) or break for a number of different reasons including:

  • Biting into a hard item of food or trying to break something with your teeth
  • Trauma –ie a blow to the face/ mouth or falling over
  • Trauma due to contact sports –eg rugby
  • Having cavities that weaken the tooth
  • General wear and tear
  • Poor oral health

What can I do?

When a tooth chips or breaks it may not always hurt, especially with minor tooth fractures, but if a larger piece of the tooth breaks away it can cause severe pain and discomfort. Pain from a broken tooth can be felt in a number of different ways depending on how it has broken and may be intermittent or constant, or may only be felt when chewing or biting onto the tooth as this puts pressure on the tooth.

Our Leicester dentists at Glen Dental offer emergency dentist appointments to all patients and will try to see you on the same day whenever possible. If you have broken a tooth please contact our reception team immediately and we will book you in for an appointment as soon as possible.

  • Aim to see a dentist as soon as possible to determine the cause of the break
  • Consider all options to treat the tooth that may range from a filling or root canal treatment if the nerve of the tooth is damaged or infected
  • The sooner that a dentist assesses your tooth the sooner a solution can be found for your broken tooth
  • Discuss ways to prevent broken teeth with your dentist

Until you are able to see a dentist you can do the following:

  • Rinse your mouth really well with a mouthwash or warm water
  • Apply pressure with a piece of gauze on any bleeding areas for about 20 minutes or until the bleeding stops
  • Apply a cold pack to the cheek or lips over the broken tooth to help reduce swelling and relieve pain
  • If you can’t get to your dentist right away, cover the part of the tooth that is in your mouth with a temporary dental filling material. Large pharmacies and supermarkets stock emergency temporary filling kits
  • Take an over-the-counter pain killer if necessary


  • Minor Cracks:

    These are surface cracks that affect only the outer enamel surface of the tooth. Minor cracks may not need treatment however your dentist may need to lightly polish the area to smooth any rough areas.

  • Chips:

    Chipped teeth don’t always need treatment. Your dentist may suggest repairing the chipped tooth with a filling material to prevent it from getting worse or to make the tooth look and feel better. If the chip is very small, the dentist may lightly polish and smooth out the chipped area.

  • Cracked Tooth:

    This type of fracture involves the whole tooth, from the chewing surface all the way down to the nerve. The pieces of the tooth remain in place but the crack gradually spreads. Cracks can sometimes be repaired with filling material but the tooth often needs a crown to prevent the crack from getting worse. If the nerve is damaged or infected you may also need root canal treatment.

  • Serious Breaks:

    These breaks go deep enough to expose the nerve. They almost always cause the tooth to hurt and be sensitive and often the broken part of the tooth may bleed. You will need root canal treatment to remove the exposed nerve and probably a crown to restore the tooth to normal function so you can eat and chew properly. Occasionally, a more serious break may extend into the root of the tooth and may require removal of the tooth

  • Decay-Induced Break:

    In this case, the tooth has broken or crumbled away because a cavity weakened it from the inside out. Your dentist will assess the cavity and recommend the best way to restore the tooth. In some cases, if the decay is extensive and goes down to the root the tooth may have to be removed.