Millions of people suffer from broken teeth each year, so you’re not alone. However, that doesn’t mean that your newly broken tooth doesn’t require immediate attention.
What is a Broke Tooth?
A tooth that has been chipped, cracked, fractured, broken apart or completely knocked out is considered a broken tooth. Depending on the extent of the break and whether your tooth was decayed prior to the break, you may or may not feel the tooth break. It’s usually easy to diagnose a broken tooth because the evidence is clearly visible, but in case of a hairline crack, x-rays are generally warranted.
The Correct Way to Handle a Broken Tooth
Above all else, if your broken tooth is a direct result of trauma to your face or head, and if it’s accompanied by a severe headache, dizziness, loss of consciousness or memory, go to the nearest emergency room or call 911. In severe cases, you have injured your brain, which caused bleeding inside your skull, broken your jawbone or other bones of the face.
If your broken tooth occurred from a minor mishap, you need to make a dental appointment ASAP. Even the tiniest of fractures warrant attention since bacteria can infect the fracture area, which can result in losing the tooth altogether.
If you knocked your tooth out, there are ways to preserve it for re-implantation. A permanent tooth that’s re-implanted within 30 minutes has the highest chance of success.
Collect the Tooth or Teeth Fragments
- Touch only the crown of the tooth, which is the top part. Do not touch the root of the tooth. Handle carefully because further damage could make re-implantation impossible.
- Rise the tooth in a bowl of lukewarm water for no more than 10 seconds to loosen dirt or debris. Never scrape, scrub or use alcohol to remove dirt.
Store Teeth or Re-Insert
- Rinse your mouth with warm water.
- If possible, reinsert the tooth or teeth into the correct sockets and bite down on a sterile gauze pad to keep the tooth or teeth in place.
Seek Medical Attention
- For teeth that are completely knocked out, contact your dentist or go to nearest emergency room immediately. If you are unable to re-insert the teeth, take them and/or the fragments with you. Even if you able to successfully reinsert the tooth or teeth, you need to see your dentist ASAP.
- If your tooth is only chipped or a piece us broken off, call your dentist and ask them the best course of action.