Any type of tooth fracture is a dental emergency, but some fractures require more urgent attention than others. Why is this? Because some of them are traditionally more painful. One of the more complicated fractures is a vertical apical root fracture (commonly just referred to as a vertical root fracture), which is a fracture that occurs beneath the gum line. How would you know if one of your teeth has been affected?
You Will Feel It
You're almost certainly going to know if you suffer from a vertical root fracture. But how will you know? This affliction can be rather painful. The pain might begin at its full intensity the moment the fracture occurs, or it can begin and then escalate as the day progresses. It's not going to get any better by itself, and over-the-counter pain relief (even an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen) will be insufficient to manage the pain.
Fragments and Pressure
This pain is due to the fact that the tooth has fragmented, and the positioning of the fragments (the actual breaches in the surface of the tooth) means that they are immediately placed under a considerable amount of physical pressure. This pressure is caused by the gingival tissues pressing into the fractures, which are in turn being pressed by the alveolar bone. This type of pressure is perfectly normal and is one of the functions that helps to stabilise each tooth within its socket. The only difference with a vertical root fracture is that you actually feel it, and it's not a pleasant feeling.
This unpleasant feeling might have been foreshadowed by actual trauma, such as a painful blow to the mouth which was directly responsible for the fracture. A vertical root fracture can be more likely when the tooth wasn't in the best health to begin with. But when the initial pain of the trauma might subside, you will be unlikely to even notice due to the discomfort that is now being caused by the vertical root fracture.
Stabilising the Tooth
You will need to visit an emergency dentist, and a root canal is a standard form of intervention to save the tooth. Once the tooth has been stabilised with the root canal, restorative work can be performed on its exterior to patch the fracture (if required) and to prevent any further deterioration. Pain relief can be prescribed if necessary.
A vertical apical root fracture is about one of the most troublesome things that can happen to your poor tooth, and the quickest way to get through the pain and unpleasantness is to see a dentist immediately.
To learn more, contact an emergency dentist.