What Actions to Take If You Have a Chipped or Cracked Tooth?
While your permanent teeth are strong, there are still susceptible to damage due to old age, car accidents, sports injuries, and bruxism. Quick action can help fix your dental issues and prevent tooth loss and long-term complications. Let’s learn more about what to do if you chip or crack your tooth.
What to do if you have a Chipped or Cracked Tooth
Dental trauma can range from a minor crack or chip in the tooth’s enamel to complete breakage of a tooth. Fortunately, minor damage to the tooth’s enamel isn’t that serious and unlikely to cause any discomfort. However, the longer you delay treatment, the worse the condition will get.
If you’ve suffered significant damage and the tooth’s inner structures like the dentin and pulp are exposed, you’re likely to experience pain, sensitivity to extreme temperatures, and even bleeding. Over time, bacteria and plaque can infect the blood vessel and nerves, causing decay and further discomfort.
What To Do
Since it can be difficult to diagnose the extent of damage your tooth has suffered, you must visit a dentist near you as soon as possible. The dentist will examine your tooth, help manage discomfort, and treat the area to prevent long-term damage.
Here are some steps you can take as you wait for professional help:
- Save any broken pieces of the tooth. While the dentist cannot reattach them, they can help determine the extent of the damage.
- Bite on a gauze to control bleeding if there’s any.
- Use a cold compress to alleviate pain and swelling.
What Not To Do
Some actions can worsen your discomfort and symptoms. Completely avoid:
- Chewing hard, sticky, crunchy, or chewy food items – Since your tooth is weak, chewing hard, crunchy, and chewy items can trigger further damage and discomfort.
- Very hot or cold food items – If your tooth’s nerves are exposed, you will likely experience extreme temperature sensitivity.
- Sugary food and beverages – Besides encouraging bacteria growth in the mouth, sugary items can cause sensitivity in the exposed parts of the tooth.
- Acidic foods and beverages – Acidic food items like Citrus fruits, apple cider vinegar, and tomatoes can irritate the exposed nerves in the tooth.
Based on the damage, you can use the following tips to manage any pain or discomfort:
- Use pain medication like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Avoid aspirin as it can slow clot formation.
- Avoid strenuous activities or exercises
- Keep your head elevated
- Use an ice pack on the cheek every 15 minutes
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt water
After examining your tooth damage, the dentist will design a treatment plan to fix your tooth and prevent further damage. Based on the type of tooth and extent of damage, the dentist can recommend treatments like:
- Dental bonding – A tooth-colored resin material is used on the tooth to repair the damage.
- Dental crown – A crown is a tooth-like hollow cap placed over a tooth to hold it together and protect it from further damage.
- Dental fillings – It fills holes after removing the damaged parts of a tooth.
- Dental veneers – A thin coating is placed on a tooth’s front to cover or hide the damage.
- Root canal therapy entails removing infected and decayed tissues from the tooth’s pulp to prevent the infection from spreading further.
- Tooth Extractions – The dentist can recommend extracting the tooth if the damage is too extreme to repair.
Visit our dentist’s office near you for treatment.
Fortunately, there’s a way to avoid cracking or breaking your tooth again. Be sure to:
- Brush and floss daily.
- Avoid biting on hard items.
- Avoid hard food items like nuts and candy.
- Wear a mouthguard if you grind or clench your teeth.
- Wear sports guards during sports.
- Eat dental-friendly foods rich in calcium and other vital minerals.
- Schedule regular dental cleanings and exams.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Do you need treatment for a cracked, chipped, or broken tooth? Contact daily DENTAL & bracesbar to begin your treatment today.