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How to treat a broken tooth?

  • Post last modified:September 21, 2023

In this step-by-step guide, we will provide you with the necessary information on how to treat a broken tooth. Dental emergencies can be quite distressing, and the purpose of this guide is to offer immediate assistance and alleviate some of your concerns. By following these simple steps, you will be able to take initial measures to manage the situation until you can seek professional dental care. Remember, we understand how painful and worrisome a broken tooth can be, so let us guide you through the process of treating it effectively.

Reliable Solutions for Dental Emergencies


Assess the situation

To assess the situation, carefully examine the broken tooth:

  • Gently inspect the tooth to determine the extent of the damage.
  • Look for any signs of bleeding or injuries in the surrounding area.
  • Take note of any other teeth that may have been affected or damaged.
  • Check for any loose fragments or pieces from the broken tooth.

By carefully examining the broken tooth and assessing any other injuries or bleeding, we can gather the necessary information to determine the best course of action for treatment.


Rinse with warm water

To gently rinse your mouth with warm water, follow these steps:

  1. Take a sip of warm water and hold it in your mouth.
  2. Move the water around the area where the tooth is broken, making sure to reach all sides.
  3. Swish the warm water in your mouth for about 30 seconds.
  4. Spit out the water and inspect your mouth for any remaining debris.
  5. Repeat the rinsing process if necessary, until the area feels clean.Remember to be gentle and avoid using excessive force, as this can further irritate the broken tooth or cause additional discomfort.

Control bleeding

To control any bleeding, apply gentle pressure to the affected area with a clean gauze or cloth. Make sure to use a clean and sterile material to avoid infection. Maintain steady pressure for at least 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops.


Manage pain and swelling

Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen, to alleviate pain and reduce swelling. Apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth to help ease discomfort.


Save any broken pieces

If possible, locate and save any broken pieces of the tooth. They may be useful for potential reattachment. Gently pick up the broken tooth fragments and place them in a clean container or a piece of gauze. Make sure to handle the pieces with care to avoid further damage. For example, if a person accidentally chips their tooth while eating, they should carefully remove any visible broken pieces and keep them in a safe place until they can see a dentist.


Temporary protection

To protect a broken tooth from further damage, cover it with dental wax or temporary dental filling material. First, clean the broken tooth and surrounding area. Then, take a small piece of dental wax or temporary filling material and shape it to cover the broken part of the tooth. Apply gentle pressure to ensure it sticks in place. This temporary protection will help prevent any additional harm to the tooth while you wait for professional dental care.


Avoid certain foods and activities

To prevent further harm, avoid biting or chewing on hard foods or using the side of your mouth with the broken tooth. Instead, opt for softer foods and chew on the opposite side of your mouth. Refrain from engaging in activities that may increase the risk of injury, such as contact sports. It’s important to protect your broken tooth by being mindful of what you eat and avoiding any activities that could cause additional damage.


Seek dental care

To seek dental care for a broken tooth, start by making an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Provide them with all the necessary information about your broken tooth, such as when it happened and any symptoms you may be experiencing.


Follow post-treatment instructions

After receiving treatment from your dentist, carefully follow their instructions for proper care and maintenance of your broken tooth. Clean the affected area gently with a soft toothbrush and non-alcoholic mouthwash, being careful not to disturb any temporary fillings or restorations. Avoid chewing on hard or sticky foods and refrain from smoking to promote healing. Regularly attend follow-up appointments to ensure that your tooth is healing properly and to address any concerns or complications that may arise.


Maintain good oral hygiene

To maintain good oral hygiene, it is important to continue brushing and flossing regularly, taking extra caution around the broken tooth area. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle, circular motions to clean the teeth and gums. Remember to floss daily, being careful not to apply too much pressure near the broken tooth. Additionally, make sure to schedule regular dental check-ups to monitor the healing progress of your tooth. This will allow your dentist to provide the necessary guidance and ensure proper oral care.

Restoring Your Smile’s Strength

In conclusion, we have explored the necessary steps to treat a broken tooth. It is crucial to remember that seeking professional dental care is essential for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. From contacting your dentist immediately to protecting the tooth, we have covered several key points. Additionally, we have emphasized the significance of maintaining good oral hygiene to prevent further damage or complications. By following these guidelines, we can ensure a healthy and safe recovery for our broken tooth. Remember, your dental health is important, so don’t hesitate to reach out to a dental professional and take the necessary steps to protect your smile.

Quick Relief for Pain

  • Stay calm and assess the situation
  • Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area around the broken tooth
  • If there is bleeding, apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth or gauze
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen to help manage any discomfort
  • Avoid biting down on the broken tooth or applying excessive pressure to it
  • If possible, save any broken tooth fragments to bring to your dentist
  • Cover any sharp edges with dental wax or sugarless gum to prevent further injury to your tongue or cheeks
  • Call your dentist immediately to schedule an emergency appointment
  • Follow your dentist’s instructions for pain relief, oral hygiene, and any necessary temporary measures until your appointment
  • Stick to soft foods and avoid chewing on the side of the broken tooth until it is properly treated
  • Avoid consuming hot or cold foods and drinks, as they may cause sensitivity
  • Be prepared for possible dental procedures like dental bonding, dental crowns, or root canal treatment, depending on the severity of the break
  • Keep up with regular dental check-ups to prevent future dental emergencies

Steps to Take When Faced with a Dental Emergency

  • First, it’s important to stay calm and assess the situation. Dental emergencies can be stressful, but remaining calm will help you think clearly and make better decisions
  • If you or someone else is experiencing severe pain or bleeding, it’s crucial to contact a dentist or emergency dental clinic as soon as possible. They are trained to handle dental emergencies and can provide the necessary treatment
  • In case of a knocked-out tooth, try to handle it carefully by the crown (the part that is visible in the mouth) and avoid touching the root. Rinse it gently with water if it’s dirty, but do not scrub or remove any tissue fragments. It’s best to keep the tooth moist by placing it back in the socket if possible, or alternatively, in a glass of milk or saliva. Seek dental care immediately
  • For a toothache or swollen gums, rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater can help alleviate the discomfort. You can mix half a teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and swish it around your mouth for about 30 seconds before spitting it out. However, it’s important to remember that this is a temporary solution, and you should still visit a dentist to address the underlying issue
  • If you have a dental crown or filling that has fallen out, try to keep it safe and make an appointment with your dentist. In the meantime, you can use dental cement or temporary dental filling material (which can be found at most pharmacies) to cover the exposed area and protect it until you can see your dentist
  • Remember, these tips are meant to offer temporary relief until you can see a dental professional. Dental emergencies should not be taken lightly, and seeking professional help is always the best course of action to ensure proper treatment and care

Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Emergencies

How can we find a reliable emergency dental care provider in our area?

Finding a reliable emergency dental care provider in your area can be a challenging task, but we understand the importance of receiving prompt and trustworthy dental care during emergencies. Here are a few steps you can take to help you find a reliable emergency dental care provider:

  1. Research local dental clinics: Start by researching dental clinics in your area. Look for clinics that specialize in emergency dental care or have extended hours to accommodate urgent cases. You can use online directories, search engines, or ask for recommendations from friends, family, or your regular dentist.
  2. Check online reviews: Once you have a list of potential emergency dental care providers, read online reviews and testimonials from previous patients. This can give you an idea of their reputation and the quality of care they provide. Pay attention to reviews that specifically mention emergency services and how the clinic handles urgent cases.
  3. Verify credentials and experience: It’s essential to ensure that the dental care provider you choose has the necessary credentials and experience to handle emergency situations. Check if they are licensed, registered, and affiliated with reputable dental associations. You can usually find this information on their website or by contacting the clinic directly.
  4. Consider accessibility and availability: When dealing with dental emergencies, accessibility and availability are crucial factors. Look for a dental clinic that is conveniently located and easily accessible from your home or workplace. Additionally, inquire about their operating hours, including evenings, weekends, and holidays, to ensure they can accommodate your emergency needs.
  5. Contact dental insurance provider: If you have dental insurance, contact your insurance provider to inquire about emergency dental care coverage. They can provide a list of in-network emergency dental care providers in your area, which can help narrow down your options.
  6. Call and ask questions: Once you have a shortlist of potential emergency dental care providers, give them a call to ask specific questions. Inquire about their emergency protocols, the availability of emergency appointments, the types of services they offer, and any fees or payment options.