Experiencing a broken tooth can be alarming and uncomfortable. It’s important to know that a broken tooth is a dental emergency that requires prompt attention. There are certain steps that you can take to reduce the damage to your tooth. In fact, it is possible to save your tooth after an emergency. Once you realize you have a broken tooth, you must act fast.
Recognizing a Dental Emergency
A broken tooth can result from many different things. One of the common instances is a traumatic event. Many people break a tooth when they bite into hard objects. Additionally, you can also break a tooth if you have severe tooth decay.
You may see a broken tooth as a smaller chip or a large crack. There can also be a fractured piece of your tooth separate from its structure. Regardless, you will notice visible damage to your tooth.
When you have a broken tooth, you are likely to experience pain or discomfort. For example, you may have an increased sensitivity to temperatures. This is because the break exposes your nerves. You may also have pain when biting or chewing.
Immediate Actions for a Broken Tooth
When you notice a broken tooth, you should gently rinse your mouth with warm water. This will cleanse the area and remove any debris or blood. If you have any broken pieces of the tooth, carefully save them in a clean container with milk or saliva. These fragments may be useful for potential restoration.
If there is bleeding, apply a clean gauze or a damp tea bag to the area and apply gentle pressure until the bleeding subsides. You should also use a cold compress on the affected area to reduce pain and swelling. Over-the-counter pain relievers can also help reduce discomfort until you can see a dentist.
Consequences of Untreated Broken Teeth
It is crucial to seek treatment for a broken tooth because you can experience additional dental concerns. A broken tooth creates an opening for bacteria to enter the inner layers of the tooth, leading to infection and potential abscess formation.
Furthermore, the damaged area of a broken tooth can easily trap food particles and bacteria, increasing the risk of tooth decay and cavities. Sharp edges or pieces of a broken tooth can irritate and injure the gums, causing gum inflammation and potential gum disease.
If left untreated, a broken tooth can disrupt the alignment of your bite. This can lead to problems with chewing, jaw discomfort, and potential issues with adjacent teeth.
Seeking Professional Dental Care
Reach out to your dentist quickly to explain the situation and schedule an emergency exam. Your dentist will assess the extent of the damage and determine the appropriate treatment. As a result, they will be able to provide immediate relief from pain and discomfort.
The treatment for a broken tooth depends on the severity of the damage. It may involve dental bonding, crowns, veneers, or extraction. Your dentist will recommend the most suitable restorative procedures to repair and protect the broken tooth. This will ensure long-term oral health benefits and a good look to your smile.