It only hurts when I walk on it
I have a friend who told me about something that happened to him recently.
“So I was jogging the other day and one of my toes fell off. It was weird. I wasn’t even jogging on gravel or anything. Smooth blacktop. Anyway, I’m jogging along and then BOOM, my big toe falls off.”
I said, “my gosh, that’s terrible! What did the doctor say?”
“I didn’t go to the doctor. It didn’t really hurt much. Only when I walked on it just the right way. I just avoided walking on it.”
You’re thinking, “you expect me to believe that?” Well, kind of.
I take part in similar conversations quite often. People look me right in the eye and tell me that a part of their body has broken off, but they just weren’t that worried about it. The difference is, it’s a piece of tooth and not their big toe.
It isn’t normal for teeth to break. Just like it isn’t normal for your toe to fall off. If a tooth breaks, something happened. The tooth might have had a cavity. Or maybe a huge filling in it. The patient might be an untreated night time grinder and there was an undetectable crack in the tooth. Maybe there was an unusual trauma to the tooth (olive pit, anyone?) But that piece of tooth didn’t just fall off.
“But doc, I was just eating bread.”
Dentists hear that one all the time, too. No one ever comes in and says, “I was chewing on huge hunks of ice and broke my tooth.” It’s always soft bread.
How the piece breaks usually isn’t that important. It’s what you do next that really counts. If you think to yourself, “well, it doesn’t hurt that much. I’ll just wait until my next appointment,” you might be looking for trouble.
If you’ve broken or worn the outer layer of the tooth (enamel) off, the tooth becomes much more susceptible to decay. Which also means you’re much more likely to need root canal treatment or even at greater risk of losing the tooth.
So if a part of your mouth breaks off, call us today. Not tomorrow. I promise you, that piece isn’t going to grow back.
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If you’re looking for a dentist in Saginaw, we’re always happy to accept new patients! You can request an appointment online or call the office at (989) 799-9133. And, as always, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I always answer my own emails!