What to Do with a Broken Molar or Tooth

Thursday, March 18, 2021
What to Do with a Broken Molar or Tooth

Are you an ice cruncher? A football player? Or, perhaps simply accident-prone? If so, experiencing a cracked or broken tooth may not be out of the realm of possibility. Whatever the reasons, if you’ve chipped, cracked, or broken a tooth, it’s critical to get it fixed as soon as possible.

Untreated, a damaged tooth or broken molar can lead to more severe problems down the road. Heading to your dentist as soon as you can, helps ensure that you regain full use of your teeth.

At Penn Dental Family Practice, we are dedicated to providing you with education about your oral health, as well as excellent dental care. We’ve provided this guide to help you learn more about how to handle a broken tooth.

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Did You Know There Are Different Types of Tooth Breaks?

A young black man in a blue zip-up jacket holds his tooth in pain from a possible broken molar.The term “broken tooth” seems pretty generic, and you might imagine that there’s one prescribed method for how to repair a broken tooth. In truth, however, broken teeth come in many forms. The method used to repair chipped tooth material is different from that of fractured tooth cusps. In fact, there are multiple ways to break your tooth, and some you might not even notice. These include:

  • Craze Lines
  • Cracked Tooth
  • Chipped Tooth
  • Broken Cusp
  • Split Tooth
  • Broken Tooth

As there is a wide range of ways you can injure your teeth, there is also a wide range of treatments to address these cracks, chips, and breaks. These include:

  • Bonding
  • Polishing
  • Endodontics
  • Crowns
  • Veneers

What Happens if You Don’t Fix a Broken Tooth?

3D digital rendering of a cracked tooth, surrounded by other healthy teeth.As we mentioned earlier, neglecting to address a damaged tooth or broken molar can lead to more serious issues. It’s also important to add that attempting to fix a broken tooth yourself, can also cause permanent damage. Dentists will tell you from experience with many patients that only a professional should treat a broken tooth or teeth.

If you’re experiencing pain or bleeding, here are some tips:

  • Stay away from applying any sort of medication, such as aspirin, or oral analgesics like Orajel, directly to the tooth.
  • Bite down lightly on gauze or a tea bag for about ten minutes if you’re bleeding.
  • Avoid eating if possible until you can get to a dentist. If you must eat, choose soft, gentle foods and avoid chewing with your broken tooth.
  • Apply ice to the face outside the lips or cheek where the injured tooth is. Do not apply ice directly to the tooth.
  • Take over-the-counter pain medication as directed to help with the pain until you can see your dentist.
  • Contact a dentist you trust for treatment as soon as possible.

*Important dental tip! If you save the broken piece of your tooth, your dentist may be able to reattach it. This is especially true with small chips, but any piece of your tooth that falls off should be saved. Place the piece in a small container, and cover it with saliva or milk. Your doctor may be able to reattach—all or part of—the material.

What if You Are Unsure Your Tooth is Broken?

For many people, pain drives them to the dental chair with a tooth injury. However, a cracked or chipped tooth doesn’t always hurt. If the break in your tooth doesn’t reach the pulp—the innermost part of the tooth which contains the tooth’s nerve endings—it likely won’t hurt. Similarly, some cracks only hurt when chewing, especially when releasing a bite.

Whether your tooth hurts or not, if you have suffered an injury, you need to have a dentist check your tooth. Only your dentist can determine whether or not treatment is necessary, and how to repair a broken tooth so that it doesn’t cause trouble for you in the future.

To learn more about how to repair a broken tooth call us any time at (215) 898-PDFP. Or, schedule a visit now.