What to Do with a Broken Tooth
Breaking a tooth isn’t as uncommon as one might think. Teeth are strong, but they are breakable and can break easily with the right amount of force. This is why it is unwise to chew on hard objects, like ice and our nails. Now that you have a broken tooth, what do you do?
Start by rinsing your mouth with salt water to both remove any remaining tooth pieces and help sterilize the mouth. If the tooth is painful, consider taking acetaminophen to reduce the pain. Until you can visit a dentist, try to eat only soft foods, and avoid biting down on that part of your mouth.
As soon as is reasonably possible, be sure to see a dentist. Even if the broken tooth isn’t painful, a dental examination is required. If the chip is minor, the dentist may use composite resin or bonding material to strengthen the broken area, polish down the sharp edges, and ensure that the tooth will be safe for eating. If a large area of the tooth has broken off, or if the break is due to decay, the dentist may recommend replacing the remaining tooth surface with a crown.
It is very difficult to determine if the tooth root is jeopardized without a proper dental exam. Even if you believe the crack is minor, be sure to have a dentist inspect the tooth to ensure that the root is not damaged. Ignoring a cracked tooth can allow the tooth pulp (the soft interior of the tooth containing nerves and blood that keep the tooth alive) to become infected, which is not only painful, but can also threaten your overall health long term.
If you have questions or concerns regarding a broken tooth, contact Dr. Yamada at 310-546-2595 to schedule a consultation today, or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com for additional information.
Dr. Anthony Yamada proudly serving Manhattan Beach and all surrounding areas.