A broken tooth can be a very distressing experience. Of course, no one wants a broken tooth. But, sometimes events happen beyond our control. Therefore, knowing the right steps to take can make all the difference in preserving your dental health. If you find yourself with a broken tooth, there is a step-by-step process you can take to improve your oral health. As a result, taking quick action can improve your odds of saving your tooth.
Stay Calm and Assess the Damage
The first and foremost step is to remain calm. Panicking can escalate the situation. Take a deep breath, and then carefully assess the damage. Determine the extent of the break. It could be a small chip or a more significant fracture. This initial evaluation will help you communicate with your dentist.
Rinse Your Mouth and the Broken Tooth
Gently rinse your mouth with warm water to remove any debris. Be cautious not to use hot or cold water. This is because extreme temperatures may cause sensitivity, especially if the tooth’s nerves are exposed. If you can locate the broken tooth fragment, rinse it as well. Place it in a clean container with milk or saliva, as this may aid in preserving the tooth.
Control Any Bleeding
If the break has bleeding, use a clean piece of gauze or a cotton ball to apply gentle pressure to the affected area. This can also help control bleeding and promote clotting. If bleeding persists or is severe, you should seek immediate attention.
Manage Pain and Swelling
Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage pain and reduce swelling. Applying a cold compress to the outside of the mouth near the broken tooth can also provide relief. Avoid placing aspirin directly on the gums or tooth, as it may cause irritation.
Cover Sharp Edges
If the broken tooth has sharp edges, consider covering them with dental wax or sugarless gum. This temporary measure helps protect your tongue and the inside of your cheeks from potential cuts or irritation. However, this is just a temporary measure until you can see your dentist.
Schedule an Emergency Exam
Regardless of the size of the break, it’s crucial to schedule an emergency dental appointment. Even minor fractures can lead to bigger issues if left untreated. Call your dentist and provide details about the situation. They will guide you on the next steps and schedule an appointment to assess and address the damage.
Preserve the Tooth Piece
If a portion of the tooth has broken off, bringing it to the dentist is essential. This can also aid in the dentist’s ability to repair or restore the tooth. Time is of the essence, so aim to see your dentist as soon as possible.
Explore Temporary Options
In some cases, your dentist may suggest temporary solutions until a more permanent fix can be implemented. This could include dental bonding, veneers, or crowns, depending on the severity of the break. Also, listen to your dentist’s suggestions and follow their advice for the best outcome.