11 Aug What To Do With A Broken Or Chipped Tooth At Home
Teeth are strong little things – they are actually the hardest substance in our bodies! They play a fundamental part in our day to day lives, not only for chewing but also for speech. That’s why it is so important to care for them to make sure they continue to be useful for as long as possible. However, despite their sturdiness, they can incur damage from the rigorous workload we give them, and from time to time, they can break or chip.
This can happen for a number of reasons, such as an accident or biting down on something too hard (we’re looking at you, hidden stone in a ‘pitted’ olive!). This can cause discomfort and create a risk for further issues such as infection, so responding correctly and promptly is paramount for a better outcome.
Chipped or broken pieces of a tooth cannot be reattached. However, there are ways that a dentist can restore a tooth’s functionality and appearance with methods such as adding a dental crown or filing to the affected area. Our friendly and experienced team can assist you in this situation. It can also be useful to take some preliminary steps to increase your comfort before you come in.
First Steps After A Chip Or Break Occurs
If you chip or break a tooth, it can feel quite alarming. There’s a reason why a common bad dream involves teeth breaking or falling out – it’s not a pleasant thought! But it’s important to stay calm and remind yourself you can find assistance.
First up, make sure you have removed any pieces from your mouth to avoid swallowing them. If you do ingest fragments, do not panic. In many cases, the tooth will pass through your system. If it’s a large portion, or if it happens to a small child, monitor for issues such as difficulty breathing or vomiting and seek medical help if you are concerned.
Secondly, contact us. We will discuss with you what has happened and determine whether you need an emergency appointment with a dentist, or we will organise a visit for as soon as possible.
Thirdly, you may find the tooth has sharp edges, which may cause uncomfortable or painful issues with the soft areas in your mouth. You may find temporary relief by placing a soft, pliable piece of gauze over the tooth. This should only be undertaken by individuals who can safely keep it in their mouth without inhaling or swallowing it. Pain relief medications may also be suitable – check with your dentist, pharmacist, or doctor if these are appropriate for you if you are unsure.
What To Do If A Filling Or a Crown Is Affected
There can be a higher risk for further issues and pain when the problem involves a filling or a crown. This is because the inside of the tooth can become exposed. This does require prompt dental assistance. In the meantime, there are some things to keep in mind.
Keep your mouth and teeth clean. Gently brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily to decrease bacteria that may enter the exposed are. If you are concerned about doing this, chat to us when you call and we can give you guidance.
Try to avoid chewing on the side of the mouth where the affected tooth is. Also, steer clear of very hot or cold drinks and food, and sugar because these can increase sensitivity and pain.
What To Do If It Happens To Dentures
When false teeth or dentures become damaged, a dentist is required. Trying to fix them without professional assistance and resources may mean they no longer fit or sit correctly, which can lead to mouth ulcers and irritation that can have serious implications. Some glues may have harmful chemicals, which can also negatively affect your health.
Our Dentists Can Assist You
Just like a broken windscreen, a damaged tooth can get worse if left untreated. This can increase pain, sensitivity and the risk of infection, and decrease functionality. It can be highly beneficial to contact us immediately. If an emergency dentist appointment is required, we will book you in as soon as possible.
We will thoroughly inspect your teeth and mouth. You may require a digital x-ray or photos, which we can generally do in our clinic. This will allow us to get a better idea of what degree the tooth has been damaged. We will when discuss with you the options and best course of action, and begin treatment.
A broken or chipped tooth is clearly not ideal, and it can feel quite scary. But we are here to help you find a solution. Contact Boroondara Family Dentist immediately for advice and to make an appointment.