You grasp your mouth in disbelief. You hope that the noise you just heard and the pain you just felt, didn’t damage any of your teeth.
But, as you inspect your mouth in the mirror you can see that the worst occurred. Unfortunately, you have some broken teeth.
Teeth break for a variety of reasons. Eating hard food, excessive wear, or a forceful blow could all cause a tooth to break. Grinding your teeth, cavities, and weakened enamel could also be to blame.
Broken teeth aren’t just painful, they also can affect our self-esteem. It’s socially acceptable for a young child to have missing teeth, but when it happens to us as adults it can be downright humiliating. At that point, we may avoid smiling or laughing to not expose our broken tooth.
This can severely limit the way we interact with others. It can make us self-conscious, to say the least. But, luckily, it’s not something we need to live with forever.
Thanks to advancements in dentistry, broken can teeth can be healed, fixed, and covered if needed.
Read on to discover exactly what to do if you find yourself with a broken tooth or broken teeth.
Broken Teeth: What To Do When You Break a Tooth
Broken teeth can cause even the most relaxed people to panic. After all, it’s a part of your body that you have no idea how to fix on your own. But, the first step when you break a tooth is not to panic.
Broken teeth can be fixed and you won’t need to suffer for long. Yes, it may be unsightly, scary, or embarrassing for the time being. But, remind yourself that a dentist can help to return your smile to a normal condition.
If the tooth was completely removed, including the root, call an emergency dentist. The sooner you get into the dentist, the better chance at repairing the tooth there is. For certain breaks, there may also be a lot of pain.
For these painful breaks, it’s important to also see a dentist as soon as possible. In cases where the nerve is exposed, you may need a root canal.
Explore the following steps to take when you have a broken tooth or broken teeth.
First, you’ll need to rinse your mouth out with warm water. You can also rinse your mouth out with salt water. If there’s any blood, then this will clean out your mouth so you can see the damage properly.
This will also help to clean out the area surrounding the broken tooth or broken teeth.
2. Stop the Bleeding
Apply some gauze to the broken tooth area to stop the bleeding. Place pressure on the bleeding area for 10 minutes. If it’s still bleeding, then replace the gauze, reapply pressure, and wait until it stops.
You can also try using a tea bag to stop the bleeding if this method doesn’t work.
3. Take OTC Pain Meds
Some broken teeth are downright painful. There are nerves in your teeth and the manner in which you broke your tooth may also be causing pain. To reduce your pain, take some over-the-counter pain reliever.
4. Get an Ice Pack
Next, you’ll need to fetch a cold compress. An ice pack or a bag filled with ice will also work well. Apply the ice pack to your mouth to reduce any swelling and reduce any pain you feel.
Apply this to the outside of your mouth or lip area where the broken tooth is. You can also wrap the ice pack in a paper towel or a dish rag if it’s too cold on your skin.
5. Avoid Hot or Cold Foods
An exposed nerve is no laughing matter. If you’re feeling a lot of pain then it’s possible that you also exposed a nerve when your tooth broke. For this reason, it’s best to avoid cold or hot foods.
Nerves are extremely sensitive to these temperatures, so go for room temperature if you have a broken tooth and pain. You should also choose soft, easy to chew foods.
6. Call a Dentist
Once you have stopped the bleeding, taken some OTC pain medication, and applied an ice pack, it’s time to call a dentist. If your broken tooth injury occurred on the weekend, then an emergency dentist may be able to assist you. For painful or completely removed broken teeth, it’s essential you see a dentist ASAP to fix the damage.
Explain to the dentist what happened and the nature of your broken tooth. Be sure to also mention any pain and if the root of your tooth was also removed during your injury.
7. Get Dental Cement
If you can’t get into a dentist immediately then you can purchase dental cement. Dental cement is available at most drug stores. Read the directions thoroughly to apply the dental cement correctly.
8. Chewing Gum
You may be thinking, “how is this a good time for chewing gum?”
But, chewing gum can help to protect your tongue from jagged edges on your broken tooth. Simply apply a piece of sugarless chewing gum or paraffin wax to cover the jagged area.
Broken Teeth: Seeing a Dentist, Not the Tooth Fairy
A visit from the tooth fairy was fun when we lost a tooth when we were 7. When we have broken teeth, the idea of the tooth fairy coming isn’t so appealing. Instead, we are likely to be excitedly awaiting our dental appointment.
Whenever a break, crack, or dental problem occurs, call your dentist. You should also visit the dentist twice a year to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy. Both healthy gums and teeth can help to prevent broken teeth, so it’s essential that you see the dentist regularly.
If you are afraid of the dentist, then know you’re not alone. There are dentists who will understand your fear and empathize with you. Some dentists are even able to provide their fearful patients with sedative medications.
A dentist’s main goal should be to heal the tooth and provide you with comfort. Dentists want their patients to feel comfortable, so never be afraid to ask questions and speak up when you have a dental emergency.
Want to learn more about gum and tooth health? Check out our blog post to learn more.