A chipped or broken tooth is more common than you may think. From ice-crunching to tag football with your buddies, accidents can lead to damaged teeth. However, if your tooth becomes chipped, cracked, or broken, it’s crucial that you get it fixed as soon as possible. Even if your tooth is cracked in half with no pain, leaving it untreated can lead to severe problems later.
At Absolute Smile, we ensure that our patients and community have the education they need for good oral health and hygiene. Here is our guide for what to do if you have a cracked or broken tooth.
First, What Kind of Broken Tooth Do You Have?
The term “broken tooth” is broad. There are several different types of breaks and ways to address them. Sometimes you may even have a break that you overlook. Some of the more common types of breaks include,
- Craze lines
- Cracked tooth
- Chipped tooth
- Broken tooth
- Broken cusp
- Split tooth
Each of these types of breaks and splits has different ways to fix them. Some of these fixes include,
What Happens If You Don’t Fix a Broken Tooth?
Neglecting a broken tooth can lead to serious issues later. Cracks in your tooth can develop cavities. Depending on how the tooth is broken, you can expose the pulp or root to bacteria that can lead to infection. If you have a broken tooth, getting it taken care of as soon as possible is important. Importantly, try to avoid fixing it yourself. You should always leave a damaged tooth in the hands of a professional.
How Do I Know My Tooth Is Broken?
In some cases, like a chipped or fully broken tooth, you know. You may be holding a piece of your tooth in your hand or between your fingers.
(Tip: If you have part of a tooth break off, be sure to save the tooth. Your dentist may be able to reattach it. Please place the tooth in a small container with either saliva or milk to keep it safe and fresh until you can bring it to your dentist – which you should do as soon as possible.)
Other times, you may have small cracks or fractures that are hard to see. If you notice pain when you chew (especially when you release a bite), or if you’ve recently had an injury to the area of your jaw or mouth, have your dentist check it out. Remember, even if you don’t experience pain, you can still have a broken tooth. It depends on where and how deep the break goes.
What Should I Do If I Have a Cracked or Broken Tooth?
If you have noticed a broken tooth, even one cracked in half with no pain, contact your dentist as soon as possible or schedule an emergency dentist appointment. Remember to save any part of your tooth that may have broken off.
If you experience pain or bleeding from a broken tooth, here are a few tips to remember:
- Don’t use any kind of topical pain medication, and don’t apply any over-the-counter medication (like aspirin) to the tooth or gum.
- Bite gently on gauze or a tea bag for ten minutes to stop bleeding.
- Avoid eating until you see the dentist.
- If you need to eat, choose soft foods and avoid chewing with the broken tooth.
- Take over-the-counter medication as directed to help alleviate pain.
- Apply ice to your face outside the lips or cheek where your tooth is broken, and do not apply ice directly to your tooth.
Emergency Dentist in Philadelphia
If you have a cracked or broken tooth, contact us right away. We can get you in and help care for your tooth so you can recover quickly.