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What To Do With a Broken Tooth

December 29, 2021

Breaking a tooth can be a scary experience. Your first thought may be to hop in the car and drive straight to your dentist’s office. Unfortunately this is not always an option. While anyone may find themselves in this situation regardless of their oral health, there are a few steps you can take to help ease the pain until you can see your dentist.


Rinse Your Mouth


First things first – rinse your mouth. Whether it is a big break or a small chip, the first thing you want to do is rinse out your mouth. There is likely going to be blood – so rinsing will remove it. But depending on how you broke your tooth, you could have pieces of food, dirt and gravel, or who knows what just floating around in there and that can be dangerous.


As you rinse, watch for the broken piece. If it is still in your mouth, it will come out. This prevents you from accidentally biting down on it (and risk breaking another tooth) – and from swallowing it.


Try to Stop the Bleeding


Again, the way in which you broke your tooth may cause you to experience some bleeding. This blood may be coming from your tooth or gums – or it could be coming from your tongue, lips, cheeks, etc. Trauma to the mouth can lead to pain and damage in multiple areas.


After rinsing, apply pressure to the area with a clean cloth or, preferably, gauze. Don’t try to wipe anything away or scrub it – just hold steady pressure.


Preserve the Tooth


Most of the time, a broken tooth doesn’t involve the entire tooth breaking off – nor does it mean that it is dangling by a thread. However, this does happen. So if it happens to you, you need to preserve the tooth.


When you find the tooth, rinse it off. To preserve it until you can get to the dentist, soak it in milk, saline solution, or – as a last resort – water. You will want to see your dentist as soon as possible in order to save the tooth.


If the tooth loosened but didn’t leave your mouth, then leave it alone. DO NOT attempt to pull the tooth out. Not only will this lead to a lot of blood, but it will increase your risk of infection, too.


Take Steps to Reduce Swelling


Trauma to the face and mouth can lead to swelling. This is common. Holding a cold compress against the area can slow blood to it and reduce swelling and inflammation.


Create your own using a baggie full of ice or even a frozen bag of vegetables.


Pain Relief


If you are feeling any pain or having any unpleasant discomfort, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Plus, if you take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen, you will not only reduce the pain but also reduce swelling and inflammation.


Call Your Dentist


You should always call your dentist when you break or chip a tooth. Even if the chip seems minor, it could have hidden damage that you can’t see. Small cracks can lead to future infections and require more intensive dental procedures.


The office staff may ask you a list of questions to determine whether your broken tooth is a dental emergency or if you can make an appointment for another day to come in. If you are in pain, be sure the dentist knows this – as well as the severity of the injury. When in the office, your dentist can take care of everything so that your tooth is sealed and protected until more permanent restoration can be done.


Let’s Recap What We’ve Learned


Alright, so what are you going to do if you find yourself with a broken tooth?


  • Rinse your mouth to remove any blood or debris – and keep an eye out for the tooth.
  • Apply pressure to the area to stop the bleeding.
  • Reduce the swelling and the pain with cold compresses and over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin.
  • If you lose the whole tooth, preserve it in milk, saline solution, or water until you see your dentist.
  • Call your dentist!

If you have a broken tooth that needs to be addressed, call Dental Partners of Vero Beach at 772-569-4118.

The post What To Do With a Broken Tooth appeared first on Dental Partners of Vero Beach.

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3790 7th Terrace, Suite 201
Vero Beach, FL 32960
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