How To Treat A Broken Tooth

Although human teeth are very strong, in certain situations they can chip, chip, or break. This condition can cause severe pain and make the tooth susceptible to infection and further decay. If a tooth is suspected to be fractured, it is very important to see a dentist as soon as possible. While waiting for an opportunity to be seen by a dentist, there are steps you can take to relieve pain and keep your teeth as healthy as possible.

Knowing If a Tooth is Broken

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Watch for sudden pain after an injury or chewing something hard. If the tooth is broken badly enough, it is likely to be very painful right after the injury. If that happens, examine the tooth that hurts and see if any parts are missing. If so, the tooth is indeed broken.

Remember, bits/shards of teeth may still be in the mouth. The pieces can injure you if swallowed. So, try to spit out the bits of teeth if they are still in your mouth. Save the pieces if you can.

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Watch for irregular pain in the teeth. If the tooth fracture is not too severe, the pain may not be felt immediately. Instead, a dull, intermittent pain may be felt. Often, your teeth will also hurt when you chew or eat very hot or cold food. If such pain occurs, it is better to see a dentist.

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Check for cracks or visible damage to the teeth. If a tooth is suspected to be fractured, a visual examination can help confirm the suspicion. Look for cracks or missing parts in the teeth.

A broken tooth may also be felt if it cannot be seen. Try gently brushing your tongue against your teeth. If any part feels rough or sharp, the tooth may be broken.

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Check for swelling or inflammation around the broken tooth. If it is difficult to find the crack, the gums can also be examined. The gum line around the broken tooth may be swollen and red. Look for these symptoms to help locate a broken tooth.

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Check with the dentist. Whether you believe that your tooth is broken or you just have pain but can’t find its exact location, visit your dentist as soon as possible. Broken teeth can be treated, but it’s important to see a dentist as soon as possible to prevent further damage. While waiting for an opportunity to be seen by a dentist, there are a number of actions you can take to protect your mouth and relieve pain.

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Treating a broken tooth until it can be examined by a dentist

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Save the tooth pieces if you have one. Sometimes, the dentist may reattach pieces of the tooth. So save it if you can. Put the piece of tooth in a container of milk or saliva to prevent it from rotting. Take it with you when you see the dentist.

Never attempt to attach a piece of tooth yourself. Not only is this impossible without the right equipment, but it can also cause severe pain if the affected nerve is touched.

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Wash your mouth with salt water. The mouth is full of bacteria, and any injury can easily become infected. To help prevent infection, rinse your mouth with salt water, when you know that a tooth is broken.

Mix 1 tsp. salt into 240 ml of warm water.

Swish the solution all over your mouth for 30-60 seconds. Concentrate on the injured area.

Make sure not to swallow the solution.

Repeat the procedure after eating.

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Take over-the-counter pain relievers to help relieve pain. If the tooth decay is very severe, the pain is also severe. Treat with over-the-counter pain relievers until you can see your dentist and get treatment.

Ibuprofen products, such as Motrin and Advil, are usually preferred over acetaminophen, because ibuprofen can relieve swelling as well as reduce pain. However, if you don’t have ibuprofen, take an acetaminophen product, such as Tylenol.

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Coat the sharp edges with dental wax . Sometimes, a broken tooth causes sharp edges that can injure the tongue or gums. To prevent sores in the mouth, coat the sharp edges with dental wax , which can be purchased at the oral care section of most pharmacies.

Alternatively, the sharp edges can also be coated with sugar-free chewing gum.

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Eat carefully until you get treatment from the dentist. You may not be able to see the dentist for a few days after the tooth has been fractured. In that case, you’ll still need to eat before you can see the dentist. Take the following actions to relieve pain and prevent further damage when eating.

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Choose soft foods. Broken teeth are weaker and prone to further damage. Hard foods can exacerbate the damage and cause pain. Choose soft foods like pudding, soup, and oatmeal until you get treatment from the dentist.

Do not eat very hot or cold food. Broken teeth may be sensitive to temperature extremes. Very hot or very cold food can cause pain. Serve food at room temperature to prevent pain.

Try to chew on the side of the mouth that is not injured. Chewing can cause pain and further damage. So, if you can, don’t chew on a broken tooth.

Knowing the Various Treatment Options for Broken Teeth

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Correct the contour of the teeth. If the chipped or chipped tooth is very small, the dentist may choose to correct the contour of the tooth. Contour repair involves trimming and smoothing the sharp edges of the broken tooth to make it smoother and less likely to cause cuts or abrasions. Contour repair is very simple, almost painless, and requires only one visit to the dentist.

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Patch cracks. If the crack is an opening in the tooth, the dentist may choose to fill it like filling a cavity. This treatment involves using a filling material–usually silver amalgam or plastic–to repair cracks in the teeth. The patch prevents anything from getting stuck in the hole, as well as preventing the hole from getting bigger.

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Place the denture crown. If the crack is wide enough, the dentist may have to use a denture crown to repair the tooth. Denture crowns are usually made of metal or ceramic and are designed to mimic the appearance and strength of natural teeth.

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Treat root canals. If the tooth decay is severe and the nerves or pulp of the tooth are exposed, the dentist may have to perform root canal treatment to save the tooth. The dentist will thoroughly clean and disinfect the inside of the tooth to prevent infection and, hopefully, extract the tooth.

If root canal treatment is being performed, the dentist may also place a denture crown after the treatment to protect the tooth.

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Tooth extraction. If the damage is very severe, the tooth may have to be extracted. Tooth extraction is usually done if the tooth crack extends below the gum line and cannot be reached for repair. To relieve pain and prevent a serious infection from occurring, tooth extraction is the best option in this condition.

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After the tooth is extracted, dentures can be placed as a replacement. Discuss with the dentist about the options available about it.

Prevents Broken Teeth

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Don’t chew on hard objects. Many people have the habit of chewing on hard objects, such as ice cubes or pens. Even though the teeth are very strong, the activity gradually weakens the teeth. Frequent chewing on hard objects can weaken teeth to the point of fracture. Prevent tooth fracture by eliminating the habit of chewing hard objects.

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Don’t grit your teeth. Teeth grinding is when teeth are constantly pressed shut, usually during sleep. Over time, this weakens tooth enamel and makes teeth more prone to fracture.

Because grinding your teeth often occurs during sleep, this habit is difficult to break. There are many special types of mouthguards that you can use to protect your teeth during sleep from grinding. Talk to your doctor about one of these devices if you have problems grinding your teeth while sleeping.

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Wear a mouth guard when playing sports. Teeth are often broken and lost in sports. If you play a contact sport, such as American football , or a sport where a hard object hits your face, such as baseball, wear a mouth guard to prevent tooth decay.

Read the guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry to learn about the different types of mouth guards.

If you’re having trouble finding the right mouthguard for you, ask your dentist for a recommendation.

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Treat teeth. Poor oral health weakens and makes teeth more susceptible to decay. Fortunately, oral health can be controlled on its own. Tooth decay and broken teeth can be prevented by keeping the mouth clean and visiting the dentist regularly.

Read the article Brushing your teeth to learn more about proper brushing techniques.

Remember to floss after brushing your teeth to remove all food residue and trapped plaque.

Visit the dentist regularly, usually every 6 months, for a thorough check-up and cleaning.

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