Occasionally a tooth can break off right at the gum line but still have some portion of its root in the jaw. If left untreated this can become a cesspool for infection and eventually cause severe oral problems like pain, pus formation, and other issues. It is therefore always best to see a dentist as soon as possible for this type of broken tooth.
If a root tip is buried and not visible a dentist can do what is called a root canal treatment (RCT) on the remaining tooth structure. However, if the remaining root is too far down in the bone or too badly fractured to save a crown it may have to be extracted.
For this, a dentist will need to remove the residual root from the gum and bone with special dental tools. This can seem scary to some but it is a fairly quick and straight forward procedure done under local anaesthetic.
The root is then usually irrigated with saline and the surgical site closed up with dissolvable stitches. Afterwards patients will need to stick to soft foods and liquids until the area heals. They will also need to take antibiotics to prevent infection in the gum tissue and surrounding teeth.