You are eating some food, and suddenly you feel some discomfort in your mouth. Then you find one of your teeth has been broken. Now upon close checking, you see the tooth broke off root still in. If so has happened to you, then you must take the necessary step as early as possible. 

It is not safe to leave a broken or half-broken tooth in the mouth. That’s why you must check this article, as it answers what you need to do when your tooth breaks off, but the root is still in your gums. So, let’s learn. 

Why does your tooth break?

A tooth may break due to several reasons, such as if you got some injury, then it may happen. For example, if you are a sports person and if you get a hit on your face, then it may damage your tooth. The habit of eating hard things such as candies or ice may harm your teeth by damaging the tooth enamel. The lack of tooth enamel results in tooth break.

However, when this happens, you can feel pain while eating something. You may feel sensitivity while taking some hot or cool food or drink. Sometimes you may feel some temporary pain in your tooth. All these are the signs of a tooth break.

Is it safe to leave a broken tooth root at the gum line?

Sometimes, you may feel that you should let the broken tooth remain untreated as it is not troubling you. If you are thinking the same, then you must think twice. A broken tooth gets separated from the gum line, but it leaves its root behind the gumline. It may not generate any pain or other issues, but if that happens, then you must consult your dentist as early as possible. The root can cause several oral health issues in the future. The dentists will support you to eliminate the chances of oral health issues.

The inner part of the teeth is contained with several pulp and nerves. These oral components help you to deliver nutrients for keeping your teeth and gums protected from several bacterias that can cause infections. Whenever a tooth breaks off at its gum line, the inner part of the teeth gets exposed. So it increases the chances of infections. Therefore, it is not safe to leave a broken tooth untreated. 

What if a molar broke off its root at the gum line?

A broken tooth is considered one of the dental emergencies. If your molar broke off, then you must visit an orthodontist as immediately as possible. A broken molar will enhance the chances of several dental complications like infection, nerve damage, and abscess. The tooth infection may affect your bones as well. Sometimes, it may lead you to a jaw bone infection.

The orthodontists may suggest you reattach the broken fragment of the tooth. If your tooth pulp gets exposed, then the dentist may go for root canal treatment along with reattaching the broken fragment. Tooth extrusion, filling, or crowning can help you to get rid of the problem. Sometimes doctors may prefer tooth extraction or tooth replacement to cure your broken tooth. You will get more details of the treatment in the following section of this article.

Treatment when the tooth broke off, root still in:

The first and foremost thing is if your tooth breaks off and the root is still in the gum line, then you must properly maintain oral hygiene. Brush your teeth adequately but provide some extra care to the broken tooth and brush it gently. These will help you to maintain the initial care.

The orthodontist will suggest one of these below treatments as per the severity of the issue.

  • Root canal

The root canal is majorly preferred by dentists if your root remains in the gum line. You can get scared of it by knowing the name of the treatment, but there is nothing to worry about. This treatment will help you remove the associated nerve and the other weakened tooth parts. It will also help you clean and seal the gum line. 

If your tooth is not that badly broken that badly, the root canal will rebuild it with a particular filling. Therefore, it reduces the chances of infection. A dentist may suggest a tooth crowning along with the root canal if it is required.

  • Tooth extraction

The orthodontists sometimes prefer the tooth extraction technique for your treatment. When your tooth is badly damaged or is broken for quite a long time, tooth extraction is the only process. However, it is a suitable treatment if you have a dental brace or aligner.

  • Dental crown

If your tooth root is still intact with your gum lines, then your orthodontists may prefer dental crowning for your treatment. After completing the root canal treatment, your dentist will do the crowning. It will take several days to complete the treatment. On the eve of the treatment, your dentist will take an x-ray to make a proper examination of the root and its surrounding bones. If there are no difficulties found, then they will remove the remaining part of the tooth and prepare the area for crowning. 

If they find any large breaks in your tooth, then you will also need a tooth filling treatment. Therefore, your dentist will take your teeth impression and send it to the lab to make the crown. After completing all these procedures, your dentist will cement the crown in its place.


So, if you have a tooth broken issue, then don’t take it casually. Visit your dentist as soon as possible to prevent any further dental issues. It won’t take much time or give pain if you do it instantly after your tooth broke off, root still in. But with time, the broken tooth faces wear and tear when you eat food. Hence, it gives much pain when you finally treat it no matter what procedure you are undergoing. That’s all! If you’ve any further queries, connect with us through the comment box below.

Published by Dr. Daniel Bronsky

Dr. Daniel is an orthodontist at Invis London.

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