- On June 22, 2016
Dental trauma and fractured teeth can happen for a variety of reasons. Among the most common are falls, being hit in the face or being involved in some sort of accident, like an automobile collision.
However, a tooth fracture can also occur when you bite down on something hard or because of decay that hasn’t been treated. Even old amalgam fillings that are no longer doing their job can result in a dental fracture.
While having a cracked tooth isn’t always serious, you do need to get it taken care of right away. Use this guide to help you deal with a tooth fracture right after it happens.
Contact Your Dentist
If you have a fractured or broken tooth, the first thing you need to do is contact your dentist. In some cases, your dentist may be able to make an appointment for you to come in right away. This can help to save the tooth and keep you from experiencing any pain.
Even if your dentist can’t see you right away, you do need to seek the earliest appointment possible. From there, you can begin to manage the broken tooth at home.
When you have a tooth fracture or a broken tooth in your mouth, you’re susceptible to bacteria from the food that you eat. Over time, a broken tooth can become impacted with food or develop an infection.
To keep infection and inflammation at bay, dissolve a teaspoon of table salt into one-half cup of warm water and rinse regularly. You can repeat this treatment throughout the day to help keep the area clean and from getting infected.
If your tooth is sensitive to heat or cold, make sure the water has cooled to lukewarm before putting it in your mouth. You don’t want to cause additional pain with a saltwater rinse.
Use Pain Relievers
Not all fractured or broken teeth will hurt. If you have a pretty quick appointment with your dentist and you don’t have any pain, consider yourself in luck. You might not experience any pain at all.
However, if your fractured tooth does hurt, or is sensitive to heat or cold, you may experience some discomfort until you can see your dentist. One of the best ways to manage that is with over-the-counter pain relievers.
In taking over-the-counter pain relievers, always follow manufacturer instructions. If you’re in severe pain and anti-inflammatory drugs don’t work, contact your dentist and try to get an emergency appointment. They may be able to see you after hours or fit you into their schedule if you’re in a lot of pain and need relief.
Over-the-counter topical treatments, and products that contain clove oil, can also be used to relieve pain. Applying an ice pack to the jaw or lips near the tooth fracture may relieve some pain and reduce inflammation as well.
Apply Dental Cement
If you notice that eating, drinking or even breathing is causing pain, you may need to cover up the fractured part of your tooth. It isn’t a permanent solution, but dental cement you can buy at the drugstore can bring some relief if you’re having this problem.
You still need to go to the dentist as soon as possible, and in many cases, you may find that you have a severe fracture when you experience this kind of pain.
Dr. David Brumbaugh
Contact the office of R. David Brumbaugh, D.D.S to learn more about what to do when you have a tooth fracture. Even if you’re not in pain, seeking the help of a qualified dentist is important after you experience any sort of dental trauma.