What To Do In Case Of A Broken Tooth

by | Mar 18, 2014 | Dental Health, Health

Our teeth are usually very strong, but they could chip or break if you don’t practice good oral hygiene, or if you get into an accident. When this happens, you may or may not feel some pain. However, if a large part of the tooth or the entire tooth breaks, the pain can be unbearable. This is because the dental nerve is damaged or exposed to air, or hot and cold foods.

How do you know if you’ve broken a tooth

Broken or cracked tooth: For a broken tooth, you need to head straight to the dentist. From the outside, your tooth may look fine, but you’ll notice that it may hurt a lot while eating. Alternatively, you may also be in constant pain, which means that you’ve damaged some blood or nerve vessels. If biting on the tooth doesn’t hurt but you feel pain when you let go, that is also a sign you’ve broken a tooth.

Dental emergency: Dentists offer emergency services for a broken tooth. Speak to your dentist immediately and ask for an appointment. You should be able to see your dentist within an hour of calling him or her. Hold the tooth by its crown, rather than its root or you might damage the cells that can be reattached to the tooth.

Self-help before you reach the dentist

First-aid:

  • Gently wash the tooth in warm water and salt to get rid of any germs. This will remove any food particles and dirt as well.
  • Once cleaned, replace it in your mouth between the gum and the cheek so it stays moist. Alternatively, wrap it in a piece of gauze and dip it in saline.
  • Place a piece of gauze or tea bag on the bleeding spot, using pressure, until the bleeding stops.
  • A cold pack to the lip or cheek (wherever the tooth is most sensitive) also helps reduce any swelling and pain associated with a broken tooth.
  • Reduce the pain and swelling with a cool compress.
  • For pain, take ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • If you wear an orthodontic wire or bracket, or a sharp edge of your tooth pokes your cheek, press a piece of candle wax onto it.
  • Don’t eat or drink anything hot or cold until your dentist has repaired the damaged tooth.

How to save the tooth

  • Pick up pieces of your broken tooth, even if they are fragmented, and place them in a paper napkin to show your dentist.
  • Cover the broken tooth in your mouth with paraffin wax.

How to prevent accidents

  • When playing contact sports, wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and tongue.
  • Avoid hard foods like candy and popcorn.
  • Don’t open packets or bottles with your teeth.
  • Don’t chew on pens, pencils or ice.
  • When you ride in a car, wear a seat belt.

If you have a broken tooth, see your dentist. They will be able to help restore your smile!

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