Teeth are really strong – they have to be to cope with what we expect them to do, which is everything from cutting string to opening bottles! But sometimes our teeth aren’t as strong as we’d hoped, especially if:
>We bite down on something hard
>We get hit in the face or mouth
>We fall over
>The teeth have hidden cavities that have weakened their structure.
All these can cause a tooth to fracture, resulting in a chipped or cracked tooth. Usually this doesn’t cause pain, but our sensitive tongues discover the rough edge of a broken tooth very quickly. And of course, when we chew we put pressure on the broken tooth and that can cause pain.
How to treat a broken tooth
There’s no way to treat a damaged tooth at home, but there are some things you can do as soon as possible:
-Rinse your mouth with warm water
-Use a piece of clean gauze to apply pressure to any bleeding areas. Maintain the pressure for about ten minutes. If this doesn’t work, moisten an ordinary tea bag and fold it in half, before biting down on it gently. The tannic acid in black tea helps stop bleeding
-Wrap ice in a clean handkerchief and hold it to the cheek or lip adjacent to the broken tooth to reduce any swelling or pain
-Make an emergency appointment to see a dentist. If you’re in the London area, our Putney clinic will be pleased to give you an appointment.
It’s important to get help as soon as possible, so that an effective course of treatment can begin straight away. There are few things less pleasant than having mouth pain as a result of chipped or broken teeth, or experiencing a constantly sore tongue from exposure to the rough, sharp edges of a broken tooth.
Dental help for broken teeth
A dentist can assess the nature of the damage and the best treatment for you. Often the tooth looks relatively undamaged and the only sign of a problem is sensitivity to hot or cold. In other cases there is substantial pain which may be a sign of nerve damage or harm to blood vessels. These can be serious warning signs of underlying damage requiring treatment. Establishing whether a cavity has caused the tooth to fracture is vital, as this may mean the nerve is at risk and root canal treatment may be required.
For front chipped teeth the solution is often cosmetic bonding helping to replace the missing part of the tooth and recreate a nice natural smile.
Once the dentist has established the exact nature of the problem, expert treatment is available to repair the tooth and correct any underlying problem. Often a simple filling is all that is required to get your broken tooth back into perfect condition.