Fractured Teeth: The most common cause of a fractured tooth is due to trauma. Tooth fractures that expose the pulp chamber (living part of the tooth) allow bacteria to inhabit the tooth. The tooth then becomes infected and dies, this process is painful. Fractured teeth need to be treated. Depending on the tooth and the severity of the fracture, the treatment options available are root canal therapy (where the tooth can be saved and remain functional) or surgical extraction.
If the pulp is not exposed with the fracture and there is no evidence of disease on the dental x-ray a bonding agent may be applied to the tooth so that the exposed dentin is not sensitive. This also helps prevent bacteria from traveling from the mouth, through the dentin and then reaching the pulp where it can infect the tooth.