What do I do if I break a tooth?
A broken tooth can seem catastrophic if it happens to you, but there are steps you can take that might enable a dentist to fix the fracture or even rectify the loss.
If you do break one of your teeth due to an accident, then to increase the possibility of re-attaching the broken tooth, you should find the tooth fragments, rinse them with water and keep them moist. You should contact your dentist immediately.
If the tooth has been knocked out, put the clean tooth back into the socket (the space in the gum where the tooth has come out from) as soon as possible.
The broken or loose tooth should be picked up by the crown (the part that you chew and bite with), while carefully avoiding contact with the root (the part usually in the gum). When the tooth is dirty it has to be quickly rinsed off before you attempt to place it back in the socket.
If you can’t get the tooth back into the socket then keep it in a liquid that can keep the cells on the surface of the root alive. Cold cows milk is one of the best storage medias for storage until you can get to the dentist.
Until you’re able to see the dentist make sure you:
- Rinse the mouth with warm water
- Apply pressure with a section of gauze to the bleeding until it stops
- Put an ice pack to the lips or cheek over the broken tooth to relieve pain and reduce swelling
- Take a pain reliever (Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory and will also help with swelling).
Sometimes a tooth can be reattached, sometimes not. If a tooth can’t be reattached, then it can be somewhat restored using a resin composite. If the fracture is too bad a root canal and crowning might be necessary. Discuss your options thoroughly with your dentist.