Emergency Dentist: Here Is Exactly What to Do When You Break a Tooth

A chipped or broken tooth does not always require an emergency dentist if you are not experiencing severe pain or bleeding. However, you should see your dentist shortly afterward. Make sure to let them know that your tooth is broken so they can fit you into their schedule right away.

After a thorough examination, your dentist will recommend the right treatment. If it is a minor chip, they can smooth it out. But if it is a more significant break, they can fill in the void with a composite dental material that looks like your other teeth.

Teeth are incredibly strong and durable, but they are not unbreakable. They can get damaged in various ways, including chipping, cracking (fracturing), or breaking. Whether it is chipped, cracked or broken, you can do something to save your tooth: Call your dentist right away. If not treated, a cracked or broken tooth can cause a whole host of other dental problems.

What can cause a broken tooth?

Common causes of a broken tooth include:

  • Biting on something tough
  • Being hit in the mouth or face during sports
  • Falling
  • Facial trauma after an accident
  • Untreated cavities, which may make a tooth weaker
  • Old amalgam fillings that cannot support the rest of the tooth’s enamel

Why should you see an emergency dentist immediately about a broken tooth?

Broken teeth might not cause pain immediately. If the damage has reached the nerve, you may experience occasional pain when chewing, for instance, or sensitivity to cold and heat.

Whether you are in pain or not, you should have your broken tooth examined by a dentist immediately. They will be able to check the stability and health of the tooth and provide the necessary treatment to avoid further deterioration or problems.

What steps should you take if you break a tooth?

If you have got a broken tooth, see your dentist immediately. They can determine if a cavity caused the break and if the nerve of the tooth is at risk. A damaged nerve will typically require a root canal.

Until you see your dentist, take the following steps:

  1. Rinse your mouth out thoroughly with warm salt water twice or thrice a day; the water acts as an antiseptic to get rid of bacteria from the area infected
  2. Take an over-the-counter pain relief medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, and make sure it is safe to take with any other medicines you are taking; you might want to stay away from aspirin, which may interfere with blood clotting and cause issues if you require a root canal
  3. Apply an ice pack to the lips/cheek above the tooth to alleviate pain and decrease swelling
  4. Using a piece of gauze, apply pressure to the bleeding area for 10 minutes or so or until bleeding ends; if this fails to work, apply pressure to the area with a teabag to halt the bleeding
  5. If you cannot make it to your dentist immediately, cover the broken tooth with temporary dental cement, available in many drugstores
  6. Avoid hot or very cold foods and drink; as the break has probably exposed the tooth’s dentin layer, extremes in temperature can cause pain.
  7. Also, avoid foods that are very acidic or high in sugar, as they can irritate the nerve of the tooth
  8. A broken tooth may cause severe pain, stop you from eating some foods and change your smile; it is not something you should ignore, as it may lead to other dental issues in the future.

If you have a broken tooth, be sure to see a reliable emergency dentist as soon as you can.

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