At My Family Dentistry, we know that breaking a tooth is traumatic, whether you bit down too hard on a popcorn kernel or cracked a weak tooth with a cavity or an old filling. Knowing how to respond is important, regardless of whether you’re dealing a small chip or a painful crack.
If you’ve damaged a tooth, read on!
Save the broken piece
If you can, save the chip or tooth piece that broke off, especially if it’s a large one. Wrap it in damp gauze or paper towel to keep it moist and store in a plastic sandwich bag. In some cases, the dentist can etch both surfaces and use an adhesive to reattach the chip to the remaining tooth.
Deal with pain and bleeding
If the damage was severe, you may experience pain, swelling, or bleeding. If this is the case, rinse your mouth with warm salt water, and take an over the counter pain reliever like acetaminophen to address pain and swelling. If the broken tooth is bleeding, apply pressure with clean gauze or tea bag until bleeding stops, and hold a cold pack to the cheek or lip to help with swelling and pain.
Prevent further injury
If the broken tooth is sharp, temporarily cover it with paraffin wax or a piece of sugar free gum to keep it from cutting you. If you can’t see your dentist on the same day, protect the broken surface of the tooth with temporary dental cement, which you can find at most drugstores. Remember, this is not a long-term solution!
Call your dentist
Tell them about the damage and schedule an appointment. Whether it’s a mild chip that just needs to be smoothed out or a serious break that’s causing pain, they’ll know what to do and how quickly you need to be seen. If you’re in pain or there is bleeding, schedule an appointment ASAP! With serious breaks, the longer you wait, the more you risk permanent nerve damage.
At My Family Dentistry, we can treat all dental chips, cracks, and breaks. For serious damage, we offer all-porcelain veneers and other natural-looking repairs methods.
If you suspect you’ve damaged a tooth, contact us immediately to schedule an appointment!
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