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What Should I Do If I Break a Tooth?

Teeth injuries are common occurrences that happen to both young and old. Although the teeth are composed of strong and durable tissues, they can break apart when subjected to impact greater than they can withstand.

A sudden fall, a blow to the face, biting down on a hard object, or pulling on something heavy with the teeth are some of the ways by which the teeth can get injured.

Breaks or cracks in the tooth can cause mild discomfort if minimal or extreme pain and swelling if it is a significant injury.

Whether you chipped off a small piece of your tooth or a large break occurred, there are necessary steps you should take to ensure the optimal health of your mouth.

Assess the Extent of The Break

When you feel a part of your tooth break off, the immediate step is to check the site to determine how small or large the break is.

Check for the presence of jagged edges and how sharp they are. Take a critical look at the broken tooth to see if there is any bleeding, redness, or swelling around the area.

Also, take stock of the intensity of pain or discomfort that you are feeling. Sometimes, you might not know the full extent of the injury, especially when the cracks run deep.

However, carrying out an initial assessment helps you to determine your next course of action.

Keep the Broken Part

For cracks and breaks that leave a significant portion of the tooth still affixed to the gum, it might be possible for the dentist to reattach the broken piece.

At the very least, it will help the dentist in assessing the injury and formulating treatment plans. You can wrap the piece in a strip of wet gauze or place it in a saline solution.

You do not need to wash or scrub the tooth before keeping it. Ensure to take the tooth to your dentist as soon as possible.

Cover the Jagged Part

When a tooth breaks off, a pointy, sharp, jagged surface is usually left behind, which can cause cuts and injuries to the soft tissues of the mouth and the tongue.

To prevent further injuries, you need to cover the sharp surface with a material that will stay on for a while.

You can take a piece of dental wax and mold it to the surface. Better still, you can make use of a temporary tooth repair kit until you can visit your dentist.

Treat the Symptoms

If the tooth's crack is minimal, causes mild discomfort, and has little or no bleeding, you can choose to treat the symptoms on your own before your appointment with the dentist.

Rinse your mouth with warm water mixed with a little salt. You can apply pressure with a piece of gauze to stop the bleeding. A cold pack pressed to the jaw will help to relieve swelling.

Visit Your Dentist Immediately

A broken tooth is a dental emergency if it is painful, has left a sharp fragment causing trauma inside your mouth, if you can't stop the bleeding, or if you want to save the tooth.

In case of a dental emergency, a quick trip to the dentist's office is essential to prevent further damage and other complications that might occur.

The specialist will be able to fix the injury properly and inform you on how to prevent it from happening again.

Adhere to Your Treatment Regimen

Depending on how severe the break is, you may require a minimal restorative procedure like a filling or an extensive correctional operation such as a root canal.

Endeavor to complete the full course of treatment while ensuring to follow your dentist's instructions.

Failure to adhere to the course of treatment can cause recurrence of the injury or increase its severity.

Keep Your Appointments

Cracks and malformations of the teeth might go undetected for a long time, especially when there are no symptoms.

You might also have underestimated the severity of a broken tooth which could cause severe complications later.

With regular visits to the dentist, abnormalities would be quickly discovered and treated before they begin to affect your oral and systemic health negatively.


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