What To Do When You Have Broken A Tooth

Breaking a tooth, while not typically serious, should still be considered a dental emergency. How you care for yourself before you can get to the dentist can make a difference in the outcome. Here is what you should know if you find yourself in this situation.  

Call For An Appointment

The moment you realize you or a loved one has broken a tooth, call your dentist, even if it is the weekend. Most dental practices have an after-hours service for just such things. If you call during regular hours, typically you will be seen the same day. This is because dental clinics usually reserve a few slots for dental emergencies.

Secure The Tooth

If an adult tooth has been knocked out, or a substantial amount has broken off, see if you can locate the partial tooth. This isn't always possible depending on the circumstances, but it's worth a try. The dentist may be able to cement it back in place, and barring that option, it will make it easier for him to create a new crown or a cap. If you are able to find the tooth fragment, wrap it in a moist paper towel and secure in a plastic zipper bag.

Care For Your Mouth

Begin by rinsing your mouth out with a warm saltwater solution. This will help prevent infection by removing bacteria. It will get rid of any residual blood taste in your mouth as well. It may also help reduce the pain, although depending on the severity and location of the break, you may not experience any pain. If you can't get in to your dentist right away, you will need to rinse your mouth every few hours and after eating.

If you do have pain, take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or naproxen sodium. Don't use aspirin or ibuprofen unless absolutely necessary, as these can thin the blood and cause additional bleeding.

After pain and the obvious cosmetic and practical concerns, the most annoying thing about breaking a tooth is the jagged edges and/or hole left behind. It is human nature that your tongue will almost voluntarily seek this area out, returning again and again to the "scene of the crime." A broken tooth can lead to cuts on your tongue or other areas of your mouth. To prevent this, use sugarless gum as a putty to temporarily "patch" the gap and protect your tongue and oral tissue from more damage.

Know What To Expect

The dentist will determine if they can simply cement the broken tooth back in place if you have it, or if you must have a crown made. In some cases, you may need a complete dental implant. A smaller chip may just need to be polished out to remove the jagged edges.

For more information, contact a company like Demianko Dental Care today.