The Broken Tooth Survivor’s Guide

Monday, September 28, 2015
The Broken Tooth Survivor’s Guide

Step by step instructions for dealing with a broken tooth.

Have you or has someone you love broken a tooth? If so you may find yourself in a bit of a panic. At Penn Dental Family Practice we understand that this can be a scary situation. We want to remind you that you or your loved one will be okay. Take a deep breath and keep reading. In this blog you will find the step by step instructions that you need to handle a broken tooth.

First and foremost it is important to contact your dentist right away. Make an appointment as soon as possible. This rule applies whether you have experienced a mild crack or chip, or a serious break. The longer you wait to see a dentist the less chance he or she has of being able to fix your broken tooth. Additionally, if nerve endings were exposed during the break, immediate dental help is necessary to avoid infection and more intense pain.

Between the occurrence of a broken tooth and your appointment, follow the steps below:
  1. Save The Tooth. Save any piece of the tooth that is broken and/or has fallen out. Bring this with you to your dentist appointment. If you cannot get to the dentist right away, place the tooth in a container and cover it with a small amount of whole milk or saliva. You can also use a tooth-saving storage device available at your dentist’s office.
  2. Rinse Your Mouth. Use warm, but not hot, water at this stage, to avoid discomfort if a nerve has been exposed.
  3. Apply Pressure. Hold gauze against any bleeding areas for about ten minutes or until the bleeding stops.
  4. Relieve Pain & Swelling. Hold a cold compress to your cheek or lips near the broken tooth to reduce swelling and relieve pain. You can also take an over the counter pain-reliever during this time.
What NOT to do:
  1. Don’t handle the roots of the tooth. Instead, touch only the chewing edge.
  2. Don’t scrape the roots of the tooth, even if their is dirt or debris on it.
  3. Don’t clean the tooth with alcohol or peroxide.
What About Other Kinds of Broken Teeth?

Okay, you may be thinking, my tooth is broken, but not that broken. If you have experienced a chip or crack in your tooth, it is still important to make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, avoid activities that increase the pain in the tooth. A broken tooth is a relatively common occurrence, and your doctors should be well-prepared to provide the restoration you need.