I have broken a tooth what shall I do?

Your teeth are very strong but can chip or break, often as a result of some external force. A blow to the jaw or falling over can cause this type of injury.

This tends to be very common in children who can break a tooth if they fall off their bike or playing sport. If your children are keen rugby players then you may be all too familiar with this injury!

A tooth can also be broken if you bite down on a hard food such as an apple or ice cubes in a drink.

If your tooth is not seriously injured or there is no pain, swelling or damage to the root then you may not notice anything untoward. If the nerve is damaged then the first indication of anything wrong will be teeth sensitivity or problems with chewing.

If your tooth has only a few cracks then these can widen as a result of pressure exerted during chewing or biting.

If the fracture is far more serious then you may notice that your tooth hurts when you chew or put any type of pressure on it. Pain can be infrequent or constant but whichever type you feel, it is a good idea to visit your dentist as soon as you can. The sooner it is treated the greater the recovery.

If you have a broken tooth then apply a cold compress to the area as this can reduce any pain. If there is any bleeding then place a piece of gauze over the tooth and place some pressure on this. Do this for around 10 minutes or so.

Then contact your dentist.

Treatment will depend on the type of break and the extent. As you can imagine the more serious the break the greater the amount of treatment needed.

If you have a small break or tiny cracks then the dentist can use cosmetic contouring to smooth these away. For deeper fractures he or she can apply a natural coloured filling or bonding agent to the tooth before smoothing it out. A dental crown can be fitted over a broken tooth as long as the break hasn’t affected the root. If it has then root canal surgery will be undertaken to remove the damaged nerve before any further treatment.

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