If you have injured your tooth during a fall or similar accident, you need to address the issue immediately so as to stop the pain and improve your chances of having the tooth repaired. Broken teeth are not only unsightly but also can result in sharp pain while chewing or even injury to your lips. This article will look at steps to take after breaking a piece of your tooth so as to prevent dental complications and restore your dental aesthetics and function.
Address the pain and swelling
The first thing to do after the injury is to rinse your mouth with warm water and then put pressure on any bleeding areas using a piece of gauze or a moist teabag. After the bleeding has stopped, apply an ice pack on the lip or cheek over the broken tooth so as to reduce the swelling.
You should also take a painkiller and avoid chewing hard foods before the tooth is treated. If you have to eat, stick to soft foods such as yogurt or pudding. Be sure to also avoid touching or cleaning any exposed pulp on the remaining tooth, as this could lead to excruciating pain and more bleeding.
If you can locate the piece of your tooth that has broken off, preserve it by placing it in a sealable container and covering it with whole milk or saliva. Your dentist may be able to reattach the broken piece or use it to mold filling material to restore the shape of the tooth. Finally, apply dental cement or a piece of chewing gum on any jagged edges that could rub against your cheek and cause injury to the soft tissue.
Visit a dentist
It is vital that you visit a cosmetic dentist as soon as you can after breaking a tooth. Typically, the dentist will repair the tooth depending on the damage sustained. If a tooth cusp is broken, an inlay or onlay may be installed to restore the surface of the tooth. Any chips around the cusps that resulted from the trauma sustained can then be smoothed out or repaired using filling material so as to make the tooth look and function better.
For large breaks that expose the blood vessels in the tooth, a root canal will usually be needed to remove any damaged pulp before a crown can be installed to cap the remaining tooth and protect the underlying nerves while restoring the shape of the tooth.
To find a dentist near you, visit sites like http://www.thefamilydentist-lakeland.com.