Knowing what to do with a broken tooth can help you preserve your tooth until you can get professional dental care. A broken tooth can be painful and distressing, but knowing how to handle it can help you prevent complications, and well as help with pain management. At Lotus Smiles Dental we offer our patients emergency dental services for broken teeth. If you believe you need urgent dental help please call us: (03) 8737 9359 and we will do our best to assist with your emergency.
How Do You Know You Have Broken A Tooth?
A broken tooth does not always necessarily hurt, but if you have exposed your tooth’s dentin or nerves, you might be in pain or feel very sensitive.
Usually a broken tooth leaves a sharp edge, which you may feel with your tongue. Resist the urge to touch the sharp edge with your tongue or fingers. If your tooth has been knocked out, pick it up, taking care not to touch the roots, and keep it clean and moist.
What To Do If You Have A Broken Tooth
If you suspect you have broken a tooth you should seek emergency dental care as soon as possible.
While you wait to see your emergency dentist, you should ensure you keep your mouth clean by rinsing your mouth after eating and drinking. You can rinse your mouth with water or a saline solution.
If your tooth has been broken because of a trauma to your mouth and there is swelling, you can use an ice pack, held to the outside of your cheek. This may also help to reduce bruising, if you are able to apply the ice pack quickly enough.
You may need temporary pain relief and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories are usually helpful to ease the pain from a broken tooth.
You can use gauze to manage any bleeding from your mouth, and replace as needed.
- Restrict what goes into your mouth
- Ideally you should see your dentist within a few hours of breaking a tooth, but if this is not possible, remember to
- Avoid very cold beverages or iced drinks
- Avoid coffee, soda and alcohol
- Sweet and sugary foods
- Fruit or vegetables with small seeds
- Chewy or sticky food like gum, nuts and fibrous meat
Where possible, eat on the other side of your mouth so that you do not put too much pressure on your damaged tooth.
How To Avoid Breaking A Tooth
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, and it performs the important role of protecting the blood vessels and nerve tissues in your teeth. Despite its sturdiness, it is possible to damage or break a tooth.
Cavities are the leading cause of toothache and tooth loss, causing long term damage and weakening your teeth. Sometimes it is possible for breakage to occur when we bite into something too hard or use our teeth as a tool. Playing sports, or getting hit in the mouth can also cause a tooth to break.
Wearing a gum guard can protect you during contact sports. Remember not to use your teeth to open jars or bottles, as this can cause damage.
Why Should We Repair Broken Teeth?
Strong healthy teeth are essential for us to eat to stay alive. Leaving a tooth broken means it can accumulate bacteria, and develop an infection, which may ultimately lead to an abscess. An untreated broken tooth can also cause nerve damage, that might only be saved by a root canal treatment.
What can your dentist do to repair a broken tooth?
- Your treatment will depend on the extent of the damage to your broken tooth
- Superficial cracks to the tooth enamel are usually left as they do not need to be repaired
- Chips to the edges of the teeth can be softened and polished so the edges are not so sharp
- Teeth that have been cracked very deeply usually have to be filled. If the crack extended into the nerve tissue you might need a root canal.
- Sometimes teeth that have been badly damaged need to be operated on, in order to save the root of the tooth.
- In the event that your tooth damage was caused by decay, your dentist will let you know if it needs to be extracted.
What To Do After Breaking A Tooth?
You should seek emergency dental care straight away by calling your dentist. If it is after hours, or your pain is unmanageable, take yourself to an emergency room immediately.
Still wondering what to do with a broken tooth? Please call our practice now for urgent dental care: (03) 8737 9359.