Teeth are exceptionally strong but can still fracture, chip, or break. Tooth injuries can happen by being hit in the face or mouth, falling, or biting down on something hard. Having cavities that weaken the tooth or old fillings that don’t support the enamel can also cause teeth to break.
Not everyone will feel pain when a tooth chips or breaks; your tongue may feel sharp areas or changes in the shape of the tooth. When large pieces of the tooth break off, it hurts! Pain from a broken or cracked tooth won’t always be constant; it can come and go. Usually there will be some pain when you chew or put pressure on the tooth or when the nerve endings are exposed to air. Hot and cold food or drinks that cause tooth pain or sensitivity can be another sign of a fractured tooth.
Pain is a serious warning sign of tooth injury. You may have pain when you bite or when you release a bite. If you have constant pain, it’s highly possible you have a damaged nerve or blood vessel.
You cannot treat a broken tooth at home; you MUST visit your dentist. However, if you are experiencing a dental emergency and have severe pain, there are things you can do to lower your risk of more damage and help relieve your pain until you are able to get to the office.
• Keep the area clean by rinsing out your mouth with warm water.
• Stop the bleeding. Use a piece of gauze or tea bag to apply pressure. You’ll want to apply pressure for about ten minutes or until the bleeding stops.
• Apply an ice pack to the cheek or lips, covering the area of the broken tooth. The cold will help reduce swelling.
• Take an over-the-counter (OTC) anti-inflammatory pain reliever.
• If you are unable to get to the dentist right away, you can use temporary dental cement found at the local drugstore to cover the part of the tooth left in the mouth. This is to be used as a temporary solution for pain relief only.
Your dentist can diagnose and treat any problems that you are having, helping to relieve your pain and prevent future complications.
The type of treatment your dentist will recommend will depend on how the tooth was affected and the type of break you have. Your dentist will evaluate your situation and discuss your treatment options and prognosis. When at all possible, your tooth will be saved.
No amount of home care can treat broken, cracked, or chipped teeth. Serious infections and complications can occur if such injuries are left untreated. Whether you currently have broken teeth or are experiencing a dental emergency, Maryland Family Dentistry is here to help and can provide pain relief. Call us today to schedule an appointment and let’s get you back to a functional, healthy smile.