What to Do if You Have a Broken Tooth?

Broken ToothIf you suffer a broken tooth, do not panic. Though the enamel that covers the teeth is the strongest tissue in the body, it is still susceptible to breaking. Anything from an automobile accident to a punch can cause a tooth to break or crack.

How to Know if Your Tooth is Cracked or Broken

You might not know you have a broken or cracked tooth right away. Perhaps you find a portion of your broken tooth at your desk or on your shirt. Yet you might continue with your day and not feel any pain or notice anything different until later on. If you notice a throbbing pain that is on and off, pain while chewing or pain when subjected to high or low temperatures, it is cause for concern. Though the tooth might look perfectly fine, if it hurts when chewing or when the temperature is high or low following the consumption of a food/drink, there might be damage. In general, you can tell if you have a legitimately cracked tooth if there is no pain when biting on the tooth yet pain occurs as the bite is released.

Obtain Help

A broken or cracked tooth is a serious injury. You cannot treat this oral health challenge at home with a DIY (do it yourself) approach. It is imperative that you visit with a dentist to have the broken teeth mended. The dentist will also assess whether the break was the result of a cavity. The dentist will even determine if the tooth nerve is threatened. If this nerve is damaged, a root canal will likely be necessary. However, you are not completely powerless while you wait for assistance from the dentist. Here is a look at what you can do to make the situation that much more tolerable.

Be Proactive Prior to Treatment

You can take some important steps while you wait to be seen by the dentist. Start by rinsing your mouth with warm water. Ideally, you will rinse with salt water yet any water is better than none. Cover the broken portion of the tooth with sugar free gum or wax paraffin. This will prevent the sharp edge from cutting your mouth. Be sure to take an over-the-counter form of pain relief such as acetaminophen to decrease the pain.

In case you're bleeding, apply pressure to the site with a piece of gauze. Keep the pressure on for at least 10 minutes or until you notice the bleeding no longer occurs. If you do not have gauze or if this method proves ineffective, try using a tea bag to apply pressure to the area to halt the bleeding. You can also apply a cold pack to the lips or cheek above the broken tooth. This application will minimize swelling and reduce pain. If you absolutely must eat, opt for soft foods. Try to chew with the teeth that are far away from the broken tooth.

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