BROKEN CRACKED TOOTH
Have you bitten on something that has resulted in a broken cracked tooth. Don’t worry we will do our best to fix it.
Accidents are part of life and dental injuries can happen in a wide variety of ways. Children can be prone to picking up knocks along with sports injuries resulting in a broken cracked tooth. Sometimes you can suffer from a chipped tooth or a cracked crown simply by biting down on something unexpectedly hard. Your steps following a dental injury will depend on its nature but for most you may need to act quickly.
If you don’t need attention of any other kind after an accident that takes priority, you should get to a dentist as soon as you can. If outside of normal opening hours, you can visit an emergency dentist.
Modern dentistry makes it easy to repair and prevent further damage to a broken cracked tooth.
Have you knocked a tooth out?
What to do if your adult tooth is knocked out.
If the tooth has been knocked out but is still intact, you should attempt to’re-implant’ it back into its gum socket. Before you do this, clean it by rinsing it in milk. Do not rinse the tooth with water, as this will damage the cells that line the roots. If you manage to get the lost tooth back in your gum, bite down on a clean handkerchief to keep it in place until you can get to your dentist for emergency first aid treatment.
If you cannot get the tooth back into its socket, keep it either in milk, or saliva. A good solution is to hold it in your mouth between your gum and cheek (taking care not to swallow it). Call ADDC for emergency dental help.
Has your baby knocked out a tooth?
What to do if your baby knocks a tooth out.
Do not try to put a baby tooth back in its socket because:
- It may fuse to the socket, which leads to difficulties when it is time for the tooth to be shed.
- It may damage the permanent tooth underneath the socket.
Broken Cracked Tooth
For a broken cracked tooth, treatment will vary on the severity of the damage.
- If the tooth fragment is broken and is intact, store it in milk or saliva (preferably the patient’s).
- Seal it in plastic wrap.
- See an oral health professional as soon as possible.
For minimal damage, your dentist will likely use a tooth coloured filling, called composite bonding, to even out the appearance of the tooth. However, if the chip impacted on the ‘pulp’ at the centre of the tooth, then the nerves and blood vessels within may die. If this is the case the damaged tooth will likely need root canal treatment. Your dentist will carry out tests to help establish if the nerve is damaged.
Why do teeth crack or break?
Many things can cause teeth to crack, such as:
- extreme tooth grinding, which can put the teeth under enormous pressure
- large fillings that weaken the tooth
- chewing or biting on something hard: for example ice, boiled sweets, fruit stones or meat bones
- a blow to the chin or lower jaw
- gum disease, if there has been bone loss. This could make the teeth more likely to suffer from root fractures
- sudden changes in mouth temperature
If you have a broken /cracked tooth, consider it a dental emergency and call an emergency dentist right away! While broken teeth can range in size and severity from a chipped tooth to a completely knocked out tooth, any dental trauma warrants immediate attention. Even though you might not feel any pain, there may be damage to the tooth or its roots that you don’t know about. And this damage may eventually lead to pain or tooth loss.
An experienced dentists may be able to save an damaged tooth so it’s important to book in for an appointment sooner to give them the best chance.
Dental treatment for a broken cracked tooth depends on the severity of the break. A tooth filling is used to fix breaks to the outer part of the tooth (the enamel). A dental filling may also be used for a more serious break involving the enamel and inner layer of the tooth (dentin), but often a dental crown is necessary in these cases. Other injuries that could occur include fractured cusps, cracked teeth or split teeth. Cracks that get all the way to the root will need root canal treatment or even removal, so it’s important to let a dentist take a look as soon as possible.
How to prevent broken teeth
An accident isn’t something you can prevent, but there are a couple of things you can do to lower your risk of a broken tooth should you come in harm’s way. Always wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports. Mouthguards protect not only your teeth but your lips, cheeks and tongue, too.
Avoiding certain foods can also lower your risk for broken teeth. Stay away from hard foods such as tough breads, hard candy and popcorn kernels. And don’t use your teeth to pry open packages or bottles.
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