What To Do If You Chip or Crack Your Tooth?

What To Do If You Chip or Crack Your Tooth?

Dec 01, 2022

Tooth damage like chips, cracks, and breaks can be painful and devastating. While strong enough to last a lifetime, teeth can get damaged in several ways, like teeth grinding and dental accidents. Typically, tooth damage can be mild to severe. In severe cases, tooth damage can be accompanied by pain, swelling, and bleeding.

Even if the damage is minor, you should visit our dentist in Longmont, CO, for professional diagnosis and treatment. Even if it doesn’t hurt, untreated tooth damage can expose you to further fractures and bacterial infections. The dentist will examine the extent of your damage to determine the most appropriate solution to repair your tooth damage, relieve discomfort, and restore your oral health. Keep reading to learn what to do if you hurt your tooth.

What to do if you break or chip your tooth

Generally, a tooth chip or break can range from small damage to the tooth’s hard enamel or complete breakage of a tooth. You might not feel discomfort if the damage is only on the enamel. If a large part of the tooth is hurt, the inner tooth structures, like the dentin and pulp, might be exposed. You’ll likely experience pain or heat or cold sensitivity in this case.

Even worse, bacteria can infect the pulp, causing decay. The pulp is the tooth’s innermost layer that harbors the tooth’s nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues. Tooth damage also weakens the tooth’s structure, making it susceptible to further damage. Avoid chewing with the damaged tooth to prevent further damage.

If you have injured your tooth, you should first call your dentist immediately. While dentists don’t recommend fixing your dental problems at home, there are a few dental care tips you can do to protect your tooth and mouth as you wait for professional treatment. These include:

Chipped tooth

  • Rinse your mouth with warm water.
  • Apply a cold compress to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Take over-the-counter painkillers to manage pain.
  • Apply pressure to the area to minimize any bleeding.

Broken tooth

  • Gather the pieces of the broken tooth.
  • Wrap the pieces in a clean gauze or piece of cloth. Be sure to take them to your appointment.
  • Rinse the intact tooth with warm water to remove any debris.
  • Cover the sharp edges of the tooth with non-sugar gum or dental wax to prevent injuries to the gums, tongue, and cheeks.
  • Apply a cold compress on the outer cheek against the damaged tooth to manage pain and swelling.
  • Apply pressure to the area to minimize bleeding.
  • Take pain and inflammatory medication to minimize pain and swelling.

Contact your emergency dentist or visit an ER near you if you experience severe symptoms like pain, bleeding, swelling, and fever.

How Can a Dentist Treat a Chipped or Broken Tooth?

You should treat chipped or broken teeth as soon as possible to alleviate pain and protect the tooth from more fractures or bacterial infections. Once you see the dentist, they will begin by examining you’re your tooth damage. X-rays might be necessary to determine the extent of the damage. Common treatments can include:

  • Medication. The dentist can prescribe some medications to alleviate pain and swelling and prevent infections.
  • Dental contouring. If the damage is minor and hasn’t passed the enamel, the dentist can polish or reshape the enamel to smoothen the damaged areas. Then, they can apply bonding material to reinstate the tooth’s structure.
  • Dental bonding. The dentist applies a tooth-colored bonding material to the tooth and reshapes it to repair the damage and restore the tooth’s aesthetics. You can only use it if the damage is on the enamel.
  • Dental filling. A break or chip that has passed the enamel may require a dental filling. The dentist will remove the damaged parts of the tooth and then fill the area with a filling material.
  • Root canal. A root canal might be necessary if the damage has exposed the tooth’s pulp. The dentist removes the infected pulp and then reinstates the tooth with a dental filling or a crown.
  • Dental crown. If the tooth is severely chipped or broken, a dentist can place a crown to hold the tooth and prevent further fractures or exposure to infections.
  • Extraction. If the tooth is extremely damaged beyond repair, the dentist can recommend taking out the tooth and replacing it with a dental implant or bridge.

Schedule an appointment today

Are you interested in general dental care in Longmont, CO? Contact Mertz Family Dentistry for more information.

Call Now Book Now
Click to listen highlighted text!