Cracked or Broken Tooth? What to Do?

The enamel that covers the outer layer of your tooth is the hardest tissue in your body. But this strong, highly mineralized substance isn't completely invincible. Chewing hard candy, falling into concrete, or sustaining a traumatic blow can easily crack or break your tooth. A cracked or broken tooth is a type of injury that you can't just treat at home. While it's usually not serious, it would be best if you visited your dentist to mend your fractured tooth. 


What to Do After You Break a Tooth


Oral health care professionals advise against fixing a broken tooth at home. Nevertheless, there are a few things you can do at home to protect your mouth until you see your dentist. 


If you crack or break a tooth, you need to rinse your mouth with warm water right away. This is necessary to wash and clean the affected area, according to the American Dental Association. If it's bleeding, you need to apply pressure. Placing a cold compress on the site will also be recommended to reduce swelling. Don't forget to put the broken-off piece of your tooth in milk before taking it to the dentist. Please don't go to a general practitioner as they won't give you the appropriate dental treatment.


What the Dentist Will Do


Treatments for a cracked or broken tooth generally include gluing the fragment of your tooth back on. A dental filling or crown will likely be used to cover the damaged tooth. Depending on the severity of the fracture, your dentist may consider other options. These include dental bonding, veneers, root canal, and implants. Severe cases may require extraction or surgery. 


How to Prevent Tooth Fractures


The American Association of Endodontists underscores the steps you can take to keep your teeth safe from cracks and breaks. Here a few things you can do to prevent tooth fractures:


  • Avoid Chewing or Biting on Hard Objects 

    • Unpopped popcorn kernels, ice, and other hard objects can put a lot of pressure on your teeth. This can sometimes result in breakage. You also need to stop chewing on pens or pencils because these could also lead to damage. 


  • Wear Protective Gears During Sports Activities

    • Ensure that you wear a mouthguard, protective mask, or helmet during contact sports. They serve as barriers to protect your oral cavity or face from trauma. 


  • Don't Grind or Clench Your Teeth 

    • Bruxism or teeth grinding at night affects about 13 percent of adults in the United States. Although it's not a severe condition, continuous grinding of your teeth and clenching of the jaw can have adverse effects. It can disrupt your sleep and cause headaches, jaw pain, and even dental health issues. Is this something you do when you're asleep? If so, discuss with your dentist about getting a mouthguard or retainer to protect your teeth. 


Do you experience intermittent pain when chewing or when exposed to extreme temperatures? Maybe you suffer from throbbing pain that comes and goes. If so, you may have a cracked tooth. Don't wait for the damage to become severe and your discomfort to worsen. Contact Perkins Dental Care today in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Call our office at 225-398-3282 to schedule your consultation. 

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