Can a Broken Tooth Get Infected?

I have a tooth that broke a while back. I didn’t really do anything about it and eventually, more of it broke off so it is pretty much just the stuff underneath. The hole where the tooth used to be is hurting on and off. When it does hurt it is hard for me to concentrate or work. Is it possible for a broken tooth to get infected if it is pretty much gone? If so, what do you do about it?


Dear Kevin,

Man grabbing his jaw in pain

If you have pain in that tooth, then you have an infection already. You need to get that tooth out as soon as possible. I want you to think about what is near your jaw– your brain, heart, and lungs.

This is why tooth infections are considered dental emergencies. They can turn life-threatening fairly quickly.

Saving Money with Early Intervention

Often we think we save money by not going to the dentist, but it often ends up with us spending way more than we would have if we would have just been proactive to begin with.

If you think about it a small filling doesn’t cost that much. A large filling costs a little more. However, if you put those off it turns into an infection. Hopefully, the tooth can be saved. If so, you’d get a root canal treatment, which costs significantly more. Many root canal treatments also require a dental crown, which adds even more money.

However, you are in a place now where the tooth can’t be saved. The next step is a tooth extraction. When a tooth is removed, there needs to be a replacement. Without that, the other teeth will shift or tip into the empty place. This will throw your bite off, which often leads to painful TMJ problems.

All this to say, dentistry is more affordable when you are proactive and take preventative measures.

This blog is brought to you by Baton Rouge Dentist Dr. Steven Collins.