Tooth Damage

By | June 10, 2022

Tooth damage can affect different areas of the tooth and periodontium. An early visit to the dentist usually promotes the success of the treatment.

What is dental damage?

Tooth damage can take various forms depending on the cause of the damage that has occurred. Much tooth damage is the result of tooth decay (tooth decay), which causes affected teeth to decompose. However, tooth damage can also occur in the form of tooth erosion – i.e. a breakdown of tooth enamel. For meanings of diabetic retinopathy, please visit

It is not uncommon for tooth damage to be the result of external violence; Tooth damage that occurs in this way can take on various forms: For example, teeth can break off or completely break out of the periodontium. However, it is also possible that teeth are just loosening.

In dentistry, tooth damage caused by violence is divided into tooth damage that affects the hard tooth substance, the tooth pulp or the periodontium (such as tooth roots and/or gums). Tooth damage due to external violence can affect not only the real tooth, but also dentures.


Tooth damage caused by caries is favored by various factors; for example, bacteria, poor oral hygiene and poor diet contribute to the development of tooth decay.

In so-called tooth erosion, tooth damage is caused by the influence of acids that attack the tooth enamel. Corresponding acids can be contained in food, for example. In addition, tooth damage due to erosion can also be the result of frequent vomiting. Tooth damage can be caused by the stomach acid contained in the vomit.

Tooth damage caused by external violence can be caused by falls or accidents, but also by biting foreign bodies in food. In addition, incorrect tooth brushing techniques or the use of toothbrushes that are too hard can lead to tooth damage.

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

Tooth damage is usually caused by caries and is experienced by the person concerned as extremely uncomfortable and painful. Tooth damage can be traced back to insufficient dental care, which leads to the formation of bacteria. These bacteria break down tooth enamel, creating a hole in the tooth.

Such a hole in the tooth is even visible to the naked eye as long as it is in the visible area of ​​the teeth. Such a hole is usually accompanied by long-lasting pain, which is perceived as uncomfortable, especially at rest. The pain persists until an appropriate doctor is consulted.

Otherwise, no improvement can be expected, since the bacteria only enlarge the hole. Anyone who visits a dentist as soon as possible will be able to feel an immediate improvement. However, those who do without such a treatment must expect a significant worsening of the symptoms that occur.

In particularly bad cases, severe headaches occur, causing the affected person to suffer from sleep deprivation. If you have a hole in your tooth, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Otherwise, the symptoms will intensify and the existing damage to the teeth will increase.

Diagnosis & History

Depending on the type of damage, tooth damage is usually diagnosed by a dentist or an emergency medicine doctor. Based on the external appearance of tooth damage, a suspected diagnosis is often possible.

In order to be able to recognize the extent and the affected areas of tooth damage, further dental examinations are often necessary. Tooth damage to the periodontium can be diagnosed with the help of X-rays, for example.

Vitality tests can be used to determine whether the root of the tooth is still intact after tooth damage caused by accidents, for example; Here it is checked, for example, whether a cold stimulus on the affected tooth triggers a sensory stimulus in the patient.

The course of tooth damage depends, among other things, on the type and severity of the damage. As a rule, the earliest possible diagnosis of tooth damage and early medical treatment contribute to a more favorable course of tooth damage.


Tooth damage is usually caused by a lack of oral hygiene, so that this clinical picture can also be associated with various complications. In most cases, so-called tooth decay is responsible for damage to the teeth. Bacteria break down the tooth enamel, resulting in a hole in the tooth. A very common complication is severe and long-lasting toothache, which can also trigger headaches.

If such damage to the tooth remains without any treatment, the existing pain will not stop. The probability of further complications is increased, since self-healing cannot take place with caries disease. The hole in the tooth will increase in size, so that over time the entire tooth will be damaged. Under certain circumstances, there may be complications when eating, as the food in the mouth can no longer be broken down properly.

Bleeding is also possible, so there is a risk of infection. If you want to avoid these complications entirely, you should see a doctor if you have tooth damage. Damage to the teeth can only be repaired with appropriate treatment. If there is no such treatment, a significant deterioration can be expected.

When should you go to the doctor?

Dental irregularities should always be examined and treated by a doctor as soon as possible. The damage to the teeth is irreparable and can lead to serious consequences. A doctor should be consulted if pain sets in, if there are irregular eating habits or if you notice a crunching sound during your night’s sleep. If you lose all or part of your teeth, see a doctor as soon as possible.

In many cases, discoloration of the teeth is a warning signal and is therefore a cause for concern. In particular, if the teeth turn black, a doctor should check the observations and initiate treatment if necessary. If there are complaints or irregularities due to braces or an inserted denture, a doctor’s visit is necessary. A doctor is required for headaches, functional disorders of the eyes, swelling in the area of ​​the jaw or face as well as discoloration of the complexion on the face.

If ulcers form in the mouth or throat and a feeling of tightness occurs, medical care is also required. Since the symptoms often increase rapidly, a doctor should be consulted in the early stages of the health problems. In the case of loss of appetite, hypersensitivity to cold or heat, or complaints of jaw activity, it is advisable to have the irregularities examined by a doctor.

Treatment & Therapy

Appropriate medical treatment of tooth damage depends on the individual damage and symptoms that have occurred. The need for dental treatment of tooth damage caused by caries depends, for example, on the degree of caries infestation:

If in the early stages of caries infestation only the outer tooth enamel is affected by tooth damage in the form of so-called decalcification, it is often possible to achieve progression of the tooth damage through remineralization (e.g. through the affected person regularly applying appropriate gels). If a caries infestation is already more advanced and has led to extensive tooth damage, necessary dental measures can be the creation of tooth fillings or even the extraction of affected teeth.

Especially in the case of tooth damage due to external acts of violence in the context of accidents, falls, etc., a quick visit to the dentist or dental clinic is an important prerequisite for successful treatment. For example, tooth damage in the form of partially or completely broken teeth from the periodontium can often be repaired if the tooth material can be put back into the affected person’s mouth at an early stage. Tooth damage in the form of loose teeth can be counteracted, for example, by splinting the corresponding teeth.


Tooth damage, which is favored by the influence of factors such as pathogens or acids, can be prevented above all by consistent oral hygiene and a diet that is not too sugary or acidic. Regular dental check-ups also contribute to the early detection of tooth damage. Tooth damage caused by violence can only be prevented to a limited extent.


In the follow-up care, the advice given in the “Prevention” section on how to avoid tooth damage also applies here. As already mentioned there, the right brushing technique is of crucial importance. It used to be said that you should brush your teeth from top to bottom, i.e. from the gums to the teeth. Then circular movements should achieve the best cleaning result.

However, experts found a method that should clean our teeth even more thoroughly: the shaking technique. To do this, the bristles of the toothbrush must be placed at a 45-degree angle directly at the transition from the gums to the tooth. The most stubborn bacteria are located at this point, the gum line. Now move the toothbrush sideways with only light pressure and gently shake the stubborn deposits away. The chewing surface of the teeth is also vibrated. To do this, the toothbrush must be placed frontally.

The teeth should be brushed systematically in the same order, then no tooth is forgotten! This requires sufficient time so that each individual tooth can be thoroughly cleaned. Teeth should be shaken clean with a toothbrush for three to five minutes in the morning and evening.

The spaces between the teeth should also be cleaned once a day – either with dental floss or with an interdental brush. Together with the tips given in the “Prevention” section, the teeth can be cared for and protected from further damage.

You can do that yourself

Tooth damage has two main causes, poor nutrition and inadequate cleaning technique, and these can be influenced in the long term through self-help in everyday life. Anyone who repeatedly has tooth damage from caries and periodontitis can do something about it in everyday life. This applies both to acute cases and to changes in behavior that have a preventive character.

In an acute case, self-help depends on the type of tooth damage. If a tooth has been knocked out, it should be kept in the mouth until it arrives at the dentist to allow for possible replanting. The same applies to parts of crowns, which are also to be taken to the dentist. Bleeding gums can be stopped by salt water. Pain can be bridged with a cooling pack on the cheek, among other things.

Even with chronic tooth damage or the predisposition to it, the patient can do a lot. This is the best way to reduce the sugar content of the food. This also applies to alcohol. Nicotine can also promote tooth damage because it can mask periodontitis symptoms. Quitting smoking is a form of self-help that is not only easy on the heart and blood vessels. Tooth damage can also be avoided. The correct brushing technique and regular oral hygiene are the be-all and end-all in everyday life. Regularly changing toothbrushes and using dental floss is very important here.

Tooth Damage