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What to Do if You Crack or Chip a Tooth

June 1, 2024

Although teeth are remarkably strong and can last a lifetime, chips and breaks are always possible. AMBA is here to help you understand the potential causes of fractured or broken teeth, how to care for a broken or chipped tooth, and what solutions and options are available. If you experience a chipped or broken tooth, rest assured: these tips can help you start smiling again in no time.

What Causes Chipped and Broken Teeth?

The most frequent causes of tooth chips or fractures include biting down on something hard, impact to the face or mouth, or a dental issue such as a cavity, which weakens the tooth from the inside.

A minor tooth fracture may or may not hurt. However, a break in a tooth will likely cause pain. Many people feel pain when chewing because of the pressure on the tooth and the damaged or exposed nerves beneath it.

What Do I Do If I Have a Fractured or Broken Tooth?

Cracked or broken teeth cannot be treated at home. Only a dentist can analyze the tooth and nerves and assess the extent of the damage and the necessary steps to repair the problem. 

If you have a broken tooth and are bleeding, the following steps are recommended until you can see your dentist:

  1. Rinse your mouth with warm water.
  2. Apply gauze on any bleeding areas until the bleeding stops. 
  3. Apply a cold pack to your cheek or lips over the broken tooth.
  4. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can sometimes help overcome pain.

What Can You Expect from Treatment?

There are several types of tooth fractures and breaks, each requiring different treatments. These include:

  • Craze lines: These minor cracks are surface cracks that only affect your enamel – the outer white surface of your tooth. These cracks are so shallow they rarely need treatment. 
  • Chips: Minor chips don’t always need treatment. However, your dentist may suggest repairing the damage with filling material to prevent it from worsening.

Chipped teeth make up most dental accidents and injuries.

  • Cracked tooth: This fracture extends from the chewing surface toward your tooth’s root. If the damage doesn’t extend to the tooth’s root, it’s possible to save the tooth before the crack worsens with a root canal and crown. 
  • Severe breaks: A serious break goes deep enough to expose your tooth’s nerve. It’s almost certain to hurt and, usually, the broken part of your tooth will bleed. Frequently, a fractured tooth will need to be removed and replaced.
  • Decay-induced break: If you have a decay-induced break, your tooth has broken or crumbled because a cavity has weakened it from the inside out. Your dental professional will evaluate your cavity and recommend the best tooth restoration. If the decay is extensive and goes down to the bone, your tooth may have to be removed.

If you have a fractured or broken tooth, seeing a dental professional as soon as possible is important. It’s also important to have the coverage of the comprehensive Dental Plan from your association and AMBA. This plan lets you see any dentist you want with significant savings by seeing one of the thousands of in-network nationwide providers. This Dental Plan covers exams, x-rays, root canals, dentures, and more! Sign up today – acceptance is GUARANTEED! – at www.AMBAdentalvision.com or call 866-979-0497 M-F 8am-6pm CT.

Source: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/10923-dental-crowns/recovery-and-outlook
https://www.aae.org/patients/root-canal-treatment/saving-natural-tooth/ https://www.aae.org/patients/dental-symptoms/traumatic-dental-injuries/

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