Your teeth are designed to be strong and sturdy to help rip through and chew food, but unfortunately, they are still vulnerable to chips and cracks, often due to blunt trauma. Accidents that occur while playing sports or falling are common ways of causing a chipped or cracked tooth, and they can also be caused by weaknesses in the tooth because of cavities.
There is no need to descend into panic when you have a broken tooth – it is something that can be fixed! Follow our steps to ensure the best care for your teeth in the case of an emergency or crack.
What Do You Do When Your Tooth Breaks?
Call Your Dentist
This may be obvious, but many people will still avoid the dentist if they think nothing can be done about it. Sometimes, we don’t even notice when a tooth has broken until we can feel sharpness with our tongue. If this is the case, simply call your dentist to arrange an appointment.
Other times, you may experience a sharp pain, meaning that the break has exposed nerves which will make your tooth sensitive to hot or cold food or air. In these circumstances ring for an emergency dentist appointment as soon as possible.
If you have a completely knocked out tooth, put the tooth in milk and bring it with you to the appointment.
If you’re experiencing bleeding, stop it by applying pressure with sterile gauze. You can even use a black tea bag! Due to its astringent properties, it effectively helps to stem the bleeding and provide a bit of additional relief. Alternatively, regularly rinsing out your mouth with ice cold water can also help to subdue the bleeding.
Clean the Area by Gargling
It is very important to clean the area to get rid of bacteria and prevent any infection from developing. Rinsing out and gargling with warm salty water is an excellent way to clean and disinfect your mouth.
If you have managed to eat or drink anything, then it is important that you rinse out your mouth thoroughly afterwards so as to wash away any particles which could aggravate or cause problems for your vulnerable gums.
Manage the Pain
Although your dentist will do their best to see you as quickly as possible following a knocked-out tooth, you’ll want help dealing with the pain in the meantime. Use over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin to deal with the pain until your appointment.
You can also use a cold compress (wrapped, so it isn’t too cold so that it causes pain) onto the cheek area or a numbing gel you can get from the pharmacy.
It is a common misconception that you have to live with a broken tooth. There are so many different treatments available now, and which one depends on the type of break you have.
Occasionally, cracks can only be superficial and in which case require no treatment as long as there is no pain. However, if your break is more severe, there are other options available:
Bonding – If your tooth is just cracked, it may be treated with simple bonding. A composite resin is created in the same shade as your tooth and applied to the tooth to fill or seal the crack. The resin isn’t the strongest material available, but for a tooth that doesn’t take a lot of pressure, such as the front teeth, it is an appropriate treatment.
Root Canal – If the crack of your tooth goes deep into the gums and the root of the tooth, you may need a root canal to help save the tooth. The treatment is similar to that of a filling, and, with the advancement of state of the art equipment, isn’t such a scary thing as it was once thought to be!
Implant – In cases where the crack is too significant, or the knocked-out tooth can’t be saved, an implant may need to be applied instead. Any remnants of the crack tooth will need to be removed, and an oral surgeon can supply an implant.
The implant is then covered with a protective crown in the shade of your teeth so it won’t be obvious.
If you have experienced a broken tooth, then don’t wait to be seen.
Call JC Dental for an emergency dentist appointment as soon as possible. We can provide advice and the right treatment for most dental emergencies. If you’re experiencing a dental emergency or just want to get a check-up for your overall dental care, then please contact us and someone from our friendly team will be able to help arrange an appointment.