What to Do When You Break a Tooth

Posted on: January 16, 2018

ToothTo say a broken tooth is cause for concern is an understatement. A broken tooth requires immediate attention from an experienced dentist. Though teeth are incredibly rigid, they are prone to breaking, cracking and chipping. A broken tooth can result from chewing on something hard, a sports injury, a fall or another type of contact with the mouth or face. Here is exactly how you should proceed if you have a broken tooth.

Confirm the Tooth is Actually Broken

If an object contacts your face, check to see if you have a broken tooth by moving your tongue along the teeth. The tooth probably won’t hurt when it breaks so you won’t be able to tell if it has been compromised unless you move your tongue along the surface.

Contact the Dentist Right Away

Though your dentist might not be available to see you in a moment’s notice, you should still schedule an appointment to meet with this oral health professional in the coming hours or days. If the nerve within the tooth is damaged and the pain is unbearable, obtain emergency dental treatment. The bottom line is it is impossible to treat a broken tooth on your own. The trained eye of a dentist is necessary to analyze the break, implement the appropriate repair and return your oral health to a semblance of normalcy. The dentist might be able to save the tooth with a root canal treatment. He or she will also determine if the tooth nerve is prone to damage.

Rinse Your Mouth

After you have contacted the dentist, you can take action to help preserve the integrity of the broken tooth and increase the chances it will be saved. Rinsing with warm water will certainly help. This swishing washes away blood from the gums and teeth.

Apply Gauze and a Cold Pack

If you have gauze or cotton, take a piece and press it to the affected area for at least 10 minutes. If you do not have either of these materials, a teabag will suffice. Apply consistent pressure and the bleeding will slow in due time. Applying a cold pack to the lips or cheek over the area where the tooth broke will also help decrease swelling and pain.

Consider Covering the Tooth

If your dentist is unavailable to see you for emergency treatment, you should consider covering a portion of the broken tooth with temporary dental cement. You can purchase temporary dental cement from any local drugstore.

How to Manage the Pain

If the pain lingers, do not try to push through it assuming it will eventually dissipate. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Follow the bottle’s directions regarding frequency and quantity and your pain will gradually subside.

Meet With the Dentist!

If your dentist is available for emergency dental treatment at a specific time, clear everything in your schedule to meet with him or her. Even if the dentist only detects minor cracking, it is necessary to polish and smooth the rough portions. If the tooth is chipped or cracked, filling materials might suffice. If the damage is considerable, the dentist can perform a root canal and apply a crown.

For more information call Arbours Aesthetic Dentistry at (949) 303-1307.

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