Chipped Trauma: 6 Steps to Follow if You Break a Tooth

October 10, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — nbkdental @ 3:34 pm
Injured tooth next to an emergency kit and a dental mirror

No one can plan for a dental emergency so it pays to be prepared. There are plenty of ways you might sustain an injury, whether you fall and knock your jaw or take a blow to the face during a rousing game of football. Often, these occurrences lead to a chipped tooth which can be both painful and anxiety-inducing. Hopefully, you won’t ever find yourself in such a circumstance but just in case, we’ve put together a few pointers for you. It can’t hurt to know what to do in an unexpected situation. Keep reading to learn 6 steps to take if you’ve just broken a tooth.

Step #1: Rinse Your Mouth

It’s important to keep the site clean when you’ve just had an injury that wrecked your tooth. According to the American Dental Association, you should rinse your mouth right away with warm water. You don’t want the liquid to be either too hot or cold because you may have sensitivity to extreme temperatures. Gently swirl the water around your mouth to clear away any blood and soothe the area.

Step #2: Stop Any Bleeding

If you’re experiencing any bleeding, you can use a clean gauze pad and apply it to the affected tooth. Press it down gently, or simply bite down slightly, to apply pressure to stop the flow.

Step #3: Reduce Swelling

An injury with enough force to break your pearly white probably also left you with a certain amount of facial swelling. Applying a cold compress or ice pack to the side of your face with the broken tooth can reduce the puffiness. Not to mention, the cold also temporarily numbs the area to provide some well-deserved relief.

Step #4: Address Discomfort

Over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or ibuprofen are also a great way to address any pain you’re feeling. Remember to steer clear of aspirin, however, because it increases blood flow and reduces clotting. If you’re still oozing, aspirin will only make it worse.

Step #5: Preserve Your Tooth

If it’s at all possible, you should try to find and save the portion of your tooth that was knocked off. In some cases, it can be successfully reattached. It’s important to keep it moist so it remains viable. You can keep it wet by placing it in a small baggy or cup of milk or saliva. Don’t store it in tap water which is often treated with chemicals that can damage the fragment.

Step #6: Call the Dentist

It’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible after the incident, especially if you were able to keep the chipped piece. Time is of the essence to place it back where it belongs, so you’ll have to move quickly. It’s best to see someone within 30 minutes if possible.

Now that you know how to handle a broken tooth, you’ll be prepared to save your smile!

About the Practice

At Northbrook Dental Group, patients of all ages benefit from the expertise of a father-son dental duo. Drs. James Woodruff and Justin Woodruff take pride in providing compassionate care using the most advanced technology available today. They know it’s imperative to act quickly in emergencies and provide same-day appointments. If you’re not sure the chip constitutes an emergency, they’ll walk you through care instructions over the phone and let you know recommended treatments. Feel free to contact the office on the website or by calling (847) 272-0049.

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