Broken Teeth – Your Step by Step Guide

Patients once in a while request more information on how to fix broken teeth. This step by step guide lists the typical reasons teeth break and what to do if it happens. 

Imagine enjoying dinner when you feel something hard break in your mouth. Or maybe you are playing a fun ball game and the ball hits your mouth. The eruption of pain reveals that something isn't right, and you find out that one of your teeth has broken or even fallen out completely.

Those are just two examples of situations where teeth may split or break. Generally, it happens out of the blue. Therefore it’s always a good idea to keep yourself updated on what needs to be done in order to fix a broken tooth. 

What Might Cause a Tooth to Break 

Before we get into how to fix broken teeth, here are the most common reasons for teeth to break: 

  • Constant clenching and grinding of the teeth – this is a bad habit that can be extremely harmful to your dental health. Most dentists recommend their patients to have treatment to fix such habits. 
  • A large amount of pressure from biting ice or other hard items can debilitate the tooth so it might split or break. 
  • Weak enamel 
  • An injury, for example a mishap or damage while engaging in sports 
  • Cavities can also lead to the weakening of your tooth
  • Old fillings might no longer provide your teeth with enough support
  • Poor nutrition and poor dental hygiene

What to Do If Your Tooth Breaks 

When you realise that your tooth has broken, call your dentist right away. 

While your tooth can break whenever, your dental practice may not be open all day, every day. Some bigger practices offer emergency appointments, which could be an option to consider if you can’t get hold of your regular dentist.

In the event that you experience pain, you can take an over-the-counter pain killer such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. Wash your mouth with salt water to help forestall any aggravation. 

In the event that your tooth break has a sharp edge, you can protect your tongue and gums by putting either a bit of paraffin or sugar free chewing gum over the edge of the tooth. Apply an ice pack to your mouth to bring any swelling under control. 

Your dentist can propose different strategies for the care of your broken tooth. For minor breaks you might be fine to wait two or three days before seeing the dentist, while other circumstances may require urgent treatment. In most cases it’s recommended to see the dentist as soon as possible.

How Your Dentist Will Fix Your Broken Tooth 

The treatment depends upon the character of the break. Your dentist might be able to fix a chipped tooth or a small break within a single visit. If you have a very small split or splinter, your dentist may only need to lightly polish and clean the tooth, but often a small filling is required. 

Some breaks may require more intensive treatment. Sometimes the dentist needs to make a crown or cap to re-establish the appearance and capacity of a broken tooth. 

For substantial breaks, your dentist may need to carry out a root canal procedure to relieve you of any pain and combat infection.

The best way to find out what treatment you will require is to attend an assessment with your dentist. The best treatment alternatives for you may depend on the reason for the breakage as well as its character. For instance, if the break was caused by a cavity, you may require different treatment compared to somebody who broke their tooth through a fall. Both of these can lead to pain and agony if not treated properly. After a thorough assessment, your dentist can recommend you the most suitable treatment. 

Taking everything into account, how to fix broken teeth depends on the seriousness and character of the break, as well as the reason behind it. But in any case, your initial step is to contact your dental practice, or to visit an emergency dental clinic.

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