The teeth are strong, but they are still prone to fractures, cracks, and breaks. Sometimes fractures are fairly painless, but if the crack extends down into the root, it is likely that the pain will be extreme.
Fractures, cracks, and breaks can take several different forms, but are generally caused by trauma, grinding, and biting. If a tooth has been fractured or cracked, there is no alternative but to schedule an appointment as quickly as possible.
Where a segment of tooth has been broken off, here are some steps that can be taken at home:
- – Call our office.
- – Rinse the tooth fragment and the mouth with lukewarm water.
- – Apply gauze to the area for ten minutes if there is bleeding.
- – Place a cold, damp dishtowel on the cheek to minimize swelling and pain.
- – Cover the affected area with over-the-counter dental cement if you cannot see us immediately.
- – Take a topical pain reliever.
The nature of the break or fracture will limit what we are able to do. If a fracture or crack extends into the root, root canal therapy is often the most effective way to retain the tooth. In the case of a complete break, your dentist will usually affix the fragment back onto the tooth as a temporary measure.