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Wisdom teeth have made a reputation for themselves for being those dreaded extra teeth that cause pain and other dental problems. Also called third molars, they do not always erupt properly. When they do, they come out of the gums at irregular angles, causing overcrowding, gum disease, and even tooth decay.

Keep in mind that there are cases where wisdom teeth removal is not necessary, especially if they do not cause serious issues. However, your dentist may suggest removal if they see that they are broken.

An opening or fracture in your wisdom tooth may allow bacteria to enter into it and cause infection. This is why it must be removed as soon as possible before any complications arise.

What causes wisdom teeth to break?

Your third molars come through much later than the others, usually erupting in your late teens or early twenties. This leaves them with little to no space inside your mouth. Other people are fortunate to have them come in straight and healthy, but most of the time, the third molar may try to erupt through a spot that is already occupied by another tooth.

As it pushes its way out and comes through at an unnatural angle, the force can cause it to crack and have fragments break off.

What happens during the wisdom teeth removal?

Your dentist will first need an x-ray to see the position of your third molar and determine how it has erupted through the gums and how it is positioned in your jawbone. Ultimately, the type of extraction you need will depend on the position of your broken wisdom tooth.

For a wisdom tooth that is fairly easy to extract, you will undergo a simple extraction wherein your dentist numbs only the area around the tooth. The tooth will then be removed from its socket using a rocking motion.

On the other hand, if your tooth has a complicated position in your gums, you will undergo a complex extraction wherein you will be given general anesthesia. The dentist will make an incision in your gum line to access the wisdom tooth easier. Then, they will break the tooth into sections to remove it in pieces. Once it is extracted, the incision will be closed using sutures.

How do you take care of yourself after wisdom teeth removal?

After the procedure, your dentist will advise on how to help the wound area heal faster and minimize your discomfort. You must pay attention to these directions to help speed up your recovery time and avoid infections on the wound.

The removal site may feel tender and swollen; you can soothe your gums by gently pressing an ice pack around the affected areas. Your dentist may also prescribe you pain relievers that you can take, especially if you start to feel pain after the anesthesia wears off.

Moreover, you will have to change your diet for the first few days. Avoid having hard or chewy foods and eat soft foods to let your teeth and gums heal and rest. You need to keep your oral hygiene regime, but be careful when brushing your teeth to not dislodge the blood clot or stitches in the removal site. Also, avoid vigorous mouth rinsing and gargling.

Following your dentist’s instructions will help the site heal faster so that your mouth can feel and act as normal again.


Broken wisdom teeth can cause further complications if left untreated. If you suspect that you have a broken tooth, contact your family dentist right away to have it checked. Having the problem identified and getting the necessary extraction as soon as possible will save you from significant pain and discomfort and keep your teeth healthy as well.

For affordable dentistry and friendly customer service, we’re the ones to call! Our caring dentists and staff at Dental House in Ann Arbor are always ready to help you with your dental concerns. Get in touch with us today to make an appointment!

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Ann Arbor Dentist Office
Hours : Mon to Thur 9am - 6pm, Fri & Sat 9am - 3pm
Address : 4860 Washtenaw Ave D, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Waterford Dentist Office
Hours : Mon to Fri 9am - 6pm, Sat 9am - 3pm
Address : 5979 Highland Rd, Waterford Twp, MI 48327
West Bloomfield Dentist Office
Hours : Monday, Wednesday to Friday 9am - 6pm
Address : 6595 Orchard Lake Rd, West Bloomfield, MI 48322
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