What to Do If You Break a Tooth
Broken and chipped teeth are some of the most common types of dental emergencies that we see in our office. Fast action can limit the extent of pain you feel as well as the cost of your treatment.
If you fall or bump your mouth, here’s what you need to do.
Stop the Bleeding
Depending on the type of injury you’ve just incurred, your mouth may be bleeding. Mouths bleed heavily, so it’s important to apply pressure to the area to get it to stop. Use a clean washcloth, gauze or tissue.
If bleeding is extremely heavy and doesn’t stop, you’ll need to head to the emergency room.
Find the Piece of Tooth
If at all possible, try to locate the piece of your tooth that broke off. Depending on how big it is, it may be salvageable. Be sure to look on your clothing, ground and inside of your mouth as it could be tucked inside your cheek.
Store It Safely
Keep the fragment lubricated. It’s best to submerge it in contact solution (making it easier to see) or milk. Use tap water as a last resort, only if neither of the other two options are available.
Put the broken piece in a sealed container, so that there’s no risk of it getting lost between your current location and the dentist’s office.
Take a Pain Reliever
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen is best. Some DIY tips will recommend applying an aspirin against the side of your tooth but don’t. Doing so could cause dangerous chemical burns.
Call Our Office
For the best results, you need to have a broken tooth repaired within the first 1-2 hours of the injury. If possible, we’ll bond the broken fragment back onto your tooth. Otherwise, a restoration like a small area of bonding or full coverage crown may be needed (depending on the extent of damage).
Same-Day Care Available
We offer same-day dental treatments for emergency patients. Contact us straight away. We’ll walk you through what to do next and make sure to get you out of pain as quickly as possible.
* Any invasive or surgical procedure may carry risks. Before moving forward, it is recommended that you seek a second opinion from an appropriately licensed medical professional.
Beware of Dry Mouth
Xerostomia (dry mouth) is a common side effect of allergies, mouth breathing and most medications. It’s also a leading contributing factor to tooth decay.
Without adequate saliva to lubricate your teeth, bacteria and acids can work to destroy enamel much quicker.
To stimulate saliva production and lubricate your mouth, sip on water frequently throughout the day and invest in moisturising products like sugar-free gum and alcohol-free mouthwash. For advice on which ones work best, talk to our dentist during your checkup!
See a Dentist Twice Per Year
Your family dentist provides excellent resources for limiting the development and extent of cavities. Preventative services like fissure sealants and fluoride can safeguard your enamel before cavities break develop. Plus, we’ll screen for early signs of demineralisation, so that problems can be managed while they’re as small as possible.