Having a broken tooth constitutes emergency dental care because cracks or fractures in your dental enamel can allow bacteria to penetrate your tooth. If you can’t get an emergency dentist in time we have put some coping strategies together to explain what to do with a broken tooth.
The Problem Of A Broken Or Cracked Tooth
While a broken, chipped or cracked tooth may affect the aesthetics of your smile, it is not just the cosmetic consequences that need to be addressed. In a healthy tooth, your dental enamel creates an important barrier that prevents dental decay but when it is compromised, it can allow bacteria to enter the pulp of your tooth and even affect its roots.
What Can Cause Damage To A Tooth?
There are a number of factors that can cause a tooth to break. These include
- Biting down on very hard food like ice or toffee
- A tooth already weakened by decay or damage or a root canal
- Trauma to the mouth
- Excessive grinding and clenching
You may not feel the breakage happening, but you may experience other symptoms such as pain when biting down or extreme sensitivity when eating or drinking hot or cold foods. If this happens it is time to call an emergency dentist. Even if you are not experiencing any symptoms though, a damaged tooth is weakened and can suffer more extensive breakage if not fixed promptly, so again your best option is to call an emergency dentist.
What To Do With A Broken Tooth?
If you can’t get emergency dental help, you can make some small adjustments to make the waiting more bearable.
Eat On The Opposite Side Of Your Mouth
Where possible avoid biting and chewing on the side of your mouth that has the broken tooth.
Avoid Hot And Cold Food And Drink
Icey and hot beverages and foods can cause pain and sensitivity and are best avoided until the problem has been resolved.
Keep Your Mouth Clean
Keeping your mouth free of bacteria can help to minimise infection. Avoid touching the broken tooth with your finger or tongue and rinse gently with a warm saline solution.
Manage Pain And Discomfort
If you have had a trauma to the mouth try to minimise bleeding by biting down on a piece of gauze. You can manage any swelling with ice or a cold compress held to the side of your face. Try over-the-counter medication for pain management until you can get a consultation with your emergency dentist.
If the bleeding will not stop, if the pain becomes worse or you experience dizziness or fever visit your closest clinic for assistance.
Don’t Ignore It
Even with coping strategies to help you manage a broken or cracked tooth, you must still visit your dentist to have the underlying problem addressed. Your dentist will be able to restore or repair your tooth with a filling or crown to ensure you do not develop an infection and that you can bite and chew again with comfort.
If you need more help on what to do with a broken tooth, it’s time to speak to a professional. Please contact us for an appointment: (02) 6188 7293.