You broke your tooth, so now what?

Teeth are incredibly strong, but they can chip, fracture, or break. This can happen by biting down on something hard, being hit in the face or mouth, falling, getting cavities that weaken the tooth or old fillings that don’t support the enamel of the tooth.

You may not always feel pain when a tooth chips or breaks; however, your tongue usually feels the sharp areas. Minor tooth fractures usually don’t cause pain, but when large pieces break off, it hurts. Pain from a broken or cracked tooth won’t always be constant, it may come and go. Most people will feel pain when they chew, when there is pressure on the tooth, or when the nerve endings are exposed to the air. Hot and cold food or drinks may also cause sensitivity and pain.

You cannot treat a cracked tooth at home; you must see your dentist. Pain is a serious warning sign of tooth injury. You may not have pain when you bite on the tooth. Often a cracked tooth will present pain when you release the bite instead. If you have constant pain, you may have a damaged nerve or blood vessels. Your dentist can diagnose and treat these issues to prevent further complications and relieve your pain.

The type of treatment your dentist will recommend depends on the type of break you have and how much of the tooth is affected. When at all possible, your tooth will be saved. Your dentist will evaluate your situation and discuss the prognosis and treatment options available for you.

There are ways you can help relieve your pain and reduce the risk of more damage until you are able to get to the dentist office:

● Rinse your mouth well with warm water.
● Apply pressure to any bleeding areas for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Use a piece of gauze or a tea bag when applying pressure.
● Apply a cold pack to the cheek or lips over the broken tooth to help reduce swelling and pain.
● Take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever.
● If you are unable to get to your dentist right away, you can cover the part of the tooth left in the mouth with temporary dental cement that can be found at your local drugstore.

No amount of home care can treat cracked, chipped, or broken teeth. Serious complications and infections can arise if it left untreated. If you currently have a fractured tooth or are experiencing a tooth emergency, (801) 828-0483 is here to help and give you back your normal, healthy smile.

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