Breaking a tooth is unfortunate, but it can happen to anyone. Whether you lost a filling or have a broken tooth, it is essential to seek professional dental care right away.
What to do if you break a tooth:
The first step is to book a dental exam as soon as possible. Many people wait until their next scheduled appointment to have their broken tooth addressed, but by then things could have gotten worse. When you break a tooth, you are at a higher risk of more of the tooth breaking away or a cavity forming in the area. It is often difficult to keep the area clean, so you may have a lot of bacteria accumulating there. Having the broken tooth addressed and repaired early on can save you money in the long run and increase the likelihood you can keep your tooth. Sometimes if a tooth is very badly broken, it may need to be extracted.
What if the tooth doesn’t hurt?
Whether or not the tooth hurts is not a good indicator of how urgent dental care is needed. Even if it doesn’t hurt, it is still a good idea to have it checked by a dentist.
How will my broken tooth be fixed?
This will be determined by your dental professional. In some cases, only a dental filling is needed. More severe breaks that extend into the inner part of the tooth may require a root canal treatment and perhaps a dental crown.
How to limit your risk of breaking a tooth:
Wear a mouthguard– Especially for contact sports, but even for sports like soccer and basketball, it is recommended to wear a mouthguard. They not only protect your teeth but may also prevent concussions.
Break bad habits– Biting into anything that isn’t food is not good for your teeth. So try to avoid biting your fingernails, chewing ice cubes or opening things with your teeth.
Caution when eating– Care should be taken when eating certain foods that contain hard pieces. Popcorn kernels, cherries and hard crunchy bread are common culprits.
Address clenching and grinding– Those who clench and grind put additional stress on their teeth and are at a higher risk of wearing down or breaking teeth. Having a biteplane made and wearing it nightly can help to prevent these issues.