Understanding and Managing a Fractured or Chipped Tooth
The human tooth is incredibly strong, but normal wear and tear, poor habits, and other factors can result in chips, cracks, and fractures that make it vulnerable. Having a broken or chipped tooth can be both embarrassing and painful. When a dental injury occurs, it’s essential to see an affordable dentist immediately, so you have the best chance of saving the tooth and preventing complications such as infection and early tooth loss.
The tips below can help you understand what happens when a tooth is chipped or broken, and prepare for an emergency.
Cracked, Broken, or Chipped Teeth
The enamel covering the outer portion of your teeth protects the sensitive inner pulp that contains their nerves and blood vessels. Fractured and chipped teeth can leave the pulp vulnerable. A fractured tooth may hurt when you chew, especially when the crack extends to the root. Minor fractures are common and sometimes go unnoticed if they don’t produce symptoms. Broken or chipped teeth are more serious. If a large piece of your tooth breaks off, the nerve becomes exposed, causing hot or cold foods and beverages, air, and even saliva to produce severe pain.
Handling a Chipped Tooth
- Find and save all broken pieces of your tooth. If you are eating when the tooth is broken, spit the contents of your mouth into a napkin, and pick out the tooth fragments. Rinse the pieces with water, but be careful not to lose them; place a towel in the sink to prevent them from going down the drain.
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to clean it and help prevent infection.
- Stop bleeding by biting down on a piece of gauze for about 10 minutes.
- Apply a cold compress to your face if swelling is present.
- Cover any sharp tooth edges with sugarless gum or paraffin wax.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen if you need immediate pain relief.
Repairing a Chipped Tooth
Options for repairing broken or chipped teeth include dental fillings or bonding, crowns, veneers, and root canals. See an affordable dentist as soon as possible for the best results.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in West Chester, call Gentle Dental of West Chester today at (484) 643-4417 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in West Chester. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of West Chester, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of West Chester.