Horizontal fractures of teeth are mostly seen in front teeth due to road side accidents, or trauma due to accidental fall or fights etc. Most of the times upper and lower front teeth are involved with horizontal fractures.
Horizontal fractures in back teeth (posterior teeth, molars) are not quite common. I have noticed that sometimes in accident victims, alongwith horizontal fractures of front teeth, a molar or two also get chipped off. But that does not come in the category of a horizontal fracture.
Let’s see a case of horizontal fracture of a lower molar on patient’s right side. He came to me yesterday with a portion of tooth shaking freely. You can see in this picture that the fractured portion can be easily lifted upwards. He told me that he does not have pain except when during eating it gets ‘dislodged/lifted’ then he has to manually put it back into its proper location.
He asked me if i could remove that shaky portion with just a spray (which makes the area numb). I didn’t consider it proper to do it without a local anesthetic injection. After injection, it was immediately removed. The patient desired that he would get the remaining tooth removed after a few days.
Now a few words about the reason for such a horizontal fracture. In this case as you can see the reason is dental caries at the neck of the teeth which spread unchecked without any treatment (filling) and ultimate the tooth crown became so weak that it gave way under the influence of even normal masticatory forces.
So, moral of this story is that cervical caries or caries on the side of the teeth or at the neck of teeth (neck means where the tooth crown and root meet!) must be got professionally attended by a dentist before it undermines the healthy dental tissues and leads to irreversible damage.
Please take care!!