It is no news that the enamel on the tooth is the hardest tissue in the body. That said, its strength is not without limits. A blow to the face or biting something hard could cause the tooth to crack or break.
A broken or cracked tooth can cause an uncomfortable and painful toothache, particularly if the breaking exposes the inner pulp with the vessels, connective tissue, and nerves. If you’re experiencing these dental issues, you can fix that toothache at a dentist.
If you have a broken tooth, here are a few quick fixes you can employ before visiting the dentist:
- Apply pressure to the affected area to minimize bleeding, if any.
- Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater.
- Get an ice pack to place on the affected area to reduce swelling.
- If the pain is too much, take over-the-counter acetaminophen to ease it. Avoid aspirin as it may cause more bleeding.
- Do not eat hard foods like candy that may cause more harm to the cracked on a broken tooth.
- Avoid chewing on the side of the mouth with the broken tooth. And if you must eat, opt for soft foods.
- If the break results in a sharp edge, use dental wax or a piece of sugarless chewing gum to protect your gums, tongue, and the inside of your cheek.
These pointers only work as a temporary solution. You will need to find an emergency dental clinic to have a professional look at the tooth to avoid severe complications that may result in tooth loss, infections, or general health issues.
Depending on the extent of the damage, your dentist may consider doing:
If the fracture goes below the gum line, saving the tooth may be impossible. In the case of a vertical crack or one involving the roots, extraction may be the only option.
If only a tiny piece of the enamel chips off, a dental filling can repair the damage adequately. Most fillings come from white composite resin or silver amalgam. The dental fillings do a neat job of filling the hole left after the crack and getting the tooth back to optimal functioning. If the tooth lost a significant portion, a dental inlay could be the best way forward.
If the issue is only some tiny chipping, a dentist may salvage that by simply reshaping or smoothing the affected area.
If the broken or cracked tooth is at the front and you are concerned about the look of your smile, you do not have to worry. Dental veneers work perfectly in restoring the teeth to look whole and healthy again. Veneers are thin shells of porcelain or composite resin that can cover the front of the tooth to cover the broken part of the tooth. They fix the appearance of the tooth.
If the break exposes the pulp or dentin, you risk having bacteria infecting the pulp. And if the fracture damages the pulp, a root canal should suffice. In a root canal procedure, a plastic filling replaces the pulp. The dentist will also put a crown to protect the tooth.
A broken or cracked tooth should not be a reason for worry. Visiting the dentist as soon as possible helps arrest the situation in good time and gets you to normal function soon enough.
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