Even though human teeth are extremely strong, in some situations they could break, crack, or fracture. This can cause severe pain and make your teeth more vulnerable to infection or more damage. If you think you've broken your tooth, it's important to see a dentist as soon as possible. Before you get to your office, there are some things you can do to relieve pain and keep your teeth healthy.
Part 1 of 4: Knowing how to recognize a broken tooth
Step 1. Observe the presence of sudden pain after an impact or after chewing on something very hard
If you break your tooth badly enough, you are likely to experience significant pain after the injury. If so, examine the tooth that hurts you to see if a piece is missing. If so, you've broken your tooth.
Remember that you have a tooth chip in your mouth. It might cut you if you swallow it, which is why you should spit it out if it is still in your mouth. Keep it if you can find it
Step 2. Observe irregular pain in the tooth
If the tooth hasn't broken badly enough, you might not feel pain right away. Rather, you will feel a dull ache that comes and goes. Often, you will have a toothache when chewing or eating very hot or very cold foods. If you experience this kind of pain, it might be better if you check the tooth for a broken tooth.
Step 3. Examine the tooth for any visible cracks or damage
If you think your tooth has cracked, a visual inspection will help confirm your suspicions. Look for a visible crack or a missing piece of tooth.
You might also try touching the tooth if you can't see it that far into your mouth. Try to gently rub your tongue over the tooth. If you find a sharper or pointed edge, it could indicate a crack
Step 4. Observe the presence of swelling and inflammation in the tooth in question
If you're having trouble finding the crack, you might also want to inspect your gums. The edge of the gum tissue near the broken tooth may swell and turn red. Watch this symptom to help you find the broken tooth.
Step 5. Make an appointment with your dentist
If you are sure that your tooth is broken, or if you are just feeling pain that you cannot locate, see your dentist as soon as possible. It is possible to treat broken teeth, but it is important to see the dentist quickly to avoid further damage. During this time, there are methods you can use to protect your mouth and relieve pain.
Part 2 of 4: Treat the injury until the dentist visit
Step 1. Keep the tip of the tooth if you found it
Sometimes the dentist can reattach the broken piece of tooth, which is why you should keep it if you have it back. Take it and put it in a small container with milk or saliva to prevent it from rotting. Then take it with you to the dentist.
You should never try to reattach the end of the tooth yourself. You won't do this without the specialized equipment, and you could cause yourself even more pain if you touch the exposed nerve
Step 2. Rinse your mouth with salt water
Your mouth is full of bacteria and any sore can get infected quickly. To help prevent infection, rinse your mouth with saline solution when you are sure you have broken your tooth.
- Mix one tsp. to c. of salt in a cup of lukewarm water.
- Rinse your mouth with the mixture for 30 to 60 seconds. Concentrate on the area in question.
- Do not swallow the mixture.
- Rinse your mouth again after meals.
Step 3. Take over-the-counter pain relievers for pain relief
If you have broken your tooth deeply, the pain can be severe. You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever until you go to the dentist to get it fixed.
It is usually better to take an ibuprofen medication rather than paracetamol, as ibuprofen also helps reduce swelling in addition to treating pain. If you don't have ibuprofen, you can take paracetamol
Step 4. Cover the sharp edges with dental wax
Sometimes the broken tooth tip might have left a sharp edge where you could cut your tongue or gums. To prevent further injury in your mouth, you can cover the edge with dental wax. You can buy it at most pharmacies.
Alternatively, you can also cover the sharp edge of the tooth with sugar-free chewing gum
Step 5. Be careful while eating before going to the dentist
You may not be able to see your dentist for several days after your tooth has broken. In this case, you will have to eat before the date. Follow the directions below to relieve pain and prevent further damage while eating.
- Eat only soft foods. The broken tooth is fragile and could break even more. Hard foods could make the damage to the tooth worse and cause pain. Choose soft foods like jellies, soups, and oatmeal until the dentist can fix your tooth.
- Do not eat foods that are too hot or too cold. The damaged tooth will be more sensitive to extreme temperatures and food that is too hot or too cold could cause pain. Serve your meals at room temperature to avoid any problems.
- Try to chew on the side opposite to where the broken tooth is. Chewing could cause pain and other damage, so you should avoid chewing on that side.
Part 3 of 4: Learning about treatment options
Step 1. Have your tooth filed down
If the crack or tip of the tooth is not too severe, the dentist may simply file it down. He will polish and file it until it becomes smoother and can no longer cause cuts or irritation in the mouth. It is a simple treatment that should hardly hurt and can be done in one visit.
Step 2. Fill the crack
If the crack has left an opening in the tooth, your dentist will likely choose to fill the cavity. He will use a filler, usually a silver alloy lead or plastic, to repair the crack. This technique will prevent foreign objects from getting stuck in the hole and the hole from widening.
Step 3. Have a crown installed
If the crack is wide enough, your dentist might want to install a crown to repair the tooth. It is usually made of metal or ceramic and is designed to mimic the appearance and strength of a normal tooth.
Step 4. Have your tooth devitalized
If the tooth has been severely damaged and the nerve or pulp is exposed, the dentist may devitalize the tooth to save it. It will clean and disinfect the inside of the tooth to prevent infection, which could avoid extracting the tooth.
If you have a root canal, the dentist may place a crown over it to protect the tooth
Step 5. Have your tooth extracted
If the tooth has been severely damaged, it may need to be extracted. This is usually done in cases where the crack in the tooth extends below the edge of the gum tissue and it is not possible to reach it to repair it. The best way to relieve pain and prevent infection is to extract the tooth completely.
After you have the tooth removed, your dentist may offer you several options for replacing it
Part 4 of 4: prevent broken teeth
Step 1. Avoid chewing foods that are too hard
Many people have a habit of chewing on hard objects like ice or pencils. Even though the teeth are very strong, this kind of activity slowly dulls them. Chewing on such hard objects could weaken your teeth so much that they could crack. Avoid this problem by giving up this bad habit.
Step 2. Avoid grinding your teeth
Teeth grinding usually occurs at night and involves constantly pressing the teeth together. Over time, this can weaken the enamel and make the teeth more susceptible to cracking.
Since teeth grinding usually happens at night, it is not easy to break the habit. There are specially designed mouth guards that you wear at night to protect your teeth and prevent them from grinding. Talk to your dentist if you grind your teeth
Step 3. Wear a mouth guard when playing sports
We often break our teeth while playing sports. If you play a contact sport like rugby, or a sport where a hard object might hit your face like baseball, you should wear a mouthguard to avoid damaging your teeth.
- You will find on the Internet the different types of mouthguards according to the sports practiced.
- If you're having trouble finding the right mouthguard for you, you can also ask your dentist to recommend one.
Step 4. Take care of your teeth
Poor dental hygiene can weaken teeth and make them more vulnerable to damage. Fortunately, you can control your dental hygiene. You can protect yourself against cavities and cracks by keeping your mouth clean and making regular dental appointments.
- Check out how to brush your teeth for the proper technique.
- Also remember to floss to rid your teeth of plaque and food debris.
- Visit your dentist regularly, usually every six months, to have your teeth cleaned and inspected.
- If your tooth is broken, place it in milk and go to the dentist or emergency room right away. The first few hours are critical to have a better chance of repairing the tooth.
- You cannot treat a broken tooth at home. You should see a dentist whenever you experience any sensitivity in your teeth due to what you eat or changes in temperature. Constant pain also tells you that you have damaged the nerve and living tissue in the tooth.