A chipped tooth can be a frightening experience, but there isn’t any reason to worry. Dental accidents happen. Whether from trauma to the mouth or an untreated dental issue, here are 6 things to do if you have a break or fracture.
1. Rinse Your Mouth with Water
Use warm water to rinse your mouth to clean away debris and any blood. You’ll get a better look to assess the problem. Minor breaks might not seem alarming; however, you’ll still need to see an emergency dentist, even if you aren’t in any pain. If the chip is significant, it’s best to call your dentist right away.
2. Control Any Bleeding
Not all teeth will bleed when they break, but it is common. If you have any bleeding, bite on a piece of gauze to stop it and change the pad every 20 minutes. It will reduce the flow of blood while also lessening the risk of swallowing it. If your bleeding is excessive or you can’t control it, head to your local emergency room.
3. Keep Your Tooth Clean
Your tooth can be vulnerable to bacteria until it has been treated. It’s best to keep your tooth clean by brushing and flossing regularly. You can use a salt water rinse to clean your mouth while also reducing inflammation and pain. You’ll want to avoid chewing or biting with your tooth until after it has been repaired.
4. Treat Any Pain
A broken tooth doesn’t always hurt, but pain is generally experienced. If you’re having any discomfort, take an over-the-counter pain reliever. When laying down, keep your face elevated above your body to prevent your blood from pooling in your head to prevent a throbbing toothache.
5. Control Any Swelling
Swelling and bruising can occur, such as from the trauma that resulted in the chipped tooth. Apply a cold compress to the outside of your face for 10-minute intervals to control inflammation and bruising.
6. Contact Your Dentist
Even breaks that appear to only be cosmetic require the attention of a dentist to save your tooth from future complications. If the break is significant, don’t delay getting the care you need or you might lose your tooth. You can wait a day or two if the break is minor, but don’t put it off for too long.
Protect Your Smile
You can’t always avoid breaking a tooth, but you can lessen your risk by maintaining your oral hygiene at home and visiting your dentist regularly. You’ll also want to wear an athletic mouthguard if you play sports, avoid using your teeth as tools, and keep inedible objects out of your mouth. With a proactive approach, you can safeguard your smile from dental emergencies.
About Dr. Ramon M. Ortiz
Dr. Ortiz is a student and teacher of advanced dentistry. He has completed extra training in many specialties, like CEREC. He is also a mentor at the Scottsdale Center for Dentistry in Scottsdale, AZ. If you’re looking for a qualified dentist you can trust, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.