What To Do If You Have a Broken Tooth

Got a broken tooth? Wondering what your next step is? Good question. A broken tooth can also be called a chipped tooth, a cracked tooth and a fractured tooth. If you happen to have any of these tooth conditions then you are definitely going to need to visit an experienced dentist for repair. While there are a few different ways that someone can experience a broken tooth, one of the more common reasons includes tooth decay. When tooth decay is present it makes the tooth much weaker, making it more prone to breakage. Another reason for why someone may have a broken tooth is due to blunt force trauma, which usually stems from playing contact sports or an accident.

According to the American Association of Endodontists, it is necessary to see your dentist as soon as possible after a tooth injury in order to keep it from worsening.

Is a broken tooth an emergency?

If the broken tooth is caused by tooth decay then it is not normally considered to be an emergency situation. Although, it is extremely important to address a broken tooth as soon as absolutely possible so that it does not get worse. If the broken tooth is caused by blunt force trauma, then this is normally considered to be an emergency situation. When someone experiences a broken tooth due to being hit in the mouth it is possible that they may have other injuries, too. This may make it necessary for them to see not only a dentist as soon as possible to address their broken tooth issue, taking a trip to the emergency room is also highly recommended for a thorough evaluation.

What to do for a broken tooth

So what is it that one must do when they have a broken tooth? The first thing is to not panic. A broken tooth can be fixed by an experienced dentist. The next step is to determine the severity of the broken tooth. How much of the tooth has broken off? Is the person experiencing any pain? If there was any immediate pain when the tooth broke then making an appointment to see an experienced dentist as soon as possible is necessary.

If the broken tooth has any dark or red areas on it then this is considered to be a dental emergency. Making an appointment with an experienced dentist within 24 hours is highly recommended in order to address this broken tooth emergency.

If the broken tooth has any yellow or brown areas on it then a dental appointment needs to be made as soon as absolutely possible. Within two days is suggested, with one day being a better time frame.

If only a small piece of the tooth has broken off and there is no pain experienced then making an appointment at one’s earliest convenience is recommended. This should be done within a few weeks for the absolute best results.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Asha Dental, request an appointment in our Leawood dental office here: . Or call us at (913) 440-4199.

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Why Do Teeth Get Chipped?

The average person will experience a chipped or broken tooth at some point in their life.  Yet many will have no idea why the chip occurred in the first place. There are all sorts of causes of chipped teeth.

Below, we delve into these causes and explain how to proceed after your tooth has chipped.

The Many Causes of Chipped Teeth

Accidental injury is one of the top causes of chipped teeth.  Such injuries occur when driving, playing sports and living everyday life.  Something as simple as tripping on a step can cause a fall and a chipped tooth.  Teeth can chip for all different reasons beyond injury. Anything from clenching the teeth to grinding the teeth and bite discrepancies can cause a chip.  Even tooth decay can cause teeth to chip. This occurs as the decay extends to the point that the surface of the tooth is undermined and breakage occurs. The bottom line is if you have a cavity, it is problematic beyond obvious reasons.  Your cavity really can weaken your teeth to the point that you are that much more likely to suffer a chipped tooth.

Most people are a bit surprised to learn improper biting, a bad bite or simply biting something hard can chip teeth.  The average person assumes his or her teeth are so hard that the biting process could not cause such damage. However, there is a chance your teeth will chip when you bite into ice, hard candy, bones in meat or other tough foods.  Finally, improper oral hygiene can heighten your vulnerability for a chipped tooth. This is especially true for patients who have tooth enamel that is thinning or damaged.

The Issue of Pain and Location

It is interesting to note you might not feel pain in your tooth unless the chip is particularly large.  Large chips will expose the nerves in the tooth's inner layer. If the chip exposes such nerves within your tooth, you will likely notice heightened sensitivity and possibly even some pain as you chew or drink hot/cold beverages. Chips on the pointed surfaces of the teeth in the rear of the mouth are known as broken cusps. This type of chip is usually the most painful. Do not attempt to treat such a chip on your own. Meet with your dentist to determine if a dental onlay or crown is necessary to restore your tooth's shape and ward off additional damage.

How to Proceed After Chipping a Tooth

The most important thing to do is visit the dentist right away.  An oral health expert's analysis of your chipped tooth is essential to maintaining your oral health and returning your smile to its previous form.  The dentist will determine if a procedure is necessary. It is possible no treatment will be required if the chip is especially small. If you have such a diminutive chip in your tooth and you are certain it is so small the dentist will not be able to do anything about it, you should try a pain reliever as long as it is safe for your particular body chemistry.

If the chip is severe, rinse your mouth with water.  This is a small step you can take to improve the condition of the tooth until you can meet with the dentist.  If you opt for a pain reliever, take something besides aspirin. Aspirin will bump up the risk of heavy bleeding.  If your mouth as a whole was injured during the accident or if your soft tissue swells, apply an ice pack. Consider adding a tooth saver from the local pharmacy to your medicine cabinet just in case such an emergency arises.  Put the chipped portion of the tooth in a glass of milk or your own saliva. Above all, you should handle the tooth in a gentle manner. Refrain from scrubbing the tooth. Bring it to the dentist to determine the best approach for saving the tooth as well as your smile.

Please call Asha Dental today at (913) 440-4199!

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Every year around 5 million children are injured while playing sports.  Many of these injuries impact the mouth. You can help to prevent a tooth from being chipped or one from being knocked out by having your child wear a mouthguard while practicing or playing.

On an annual basis, there are around 5.4 million car wrecks in the United States, some of which will lead to mouth injuries.  As a dentist in Leawood, KS, we can treat teeth that are cracked or chipped as a result.

As you age, the likelihood of you being in an accident only increases.  One in three people over the age of 65 will be in a slip and fall accident on an annual basis. Even younger people suffer from this with over 9 million people visiting the emergency room every year as a result.

Given the statistics, it is only a matter of time before most people are in some sort of accident.  If this happens to you or one of your children, consider your injuries and then give us a call.  If you injure your physical body – head to the emergency room or your local doctor.  If you damage a tooth, visit our office.  The physicians at the hospital emergency room are not equipped to handle your dental emergency.  They are not trained to do so nor do they have the dental equipment.  Yes, they can give you pain medication but you will still need an actual dental appointment.  You can skip the hassle and benefit from having your tooth restored if you visit our office first.

As a dentist in Leawood, KS, we have several ways to restore your tooth. We can use a bonding procedure if your tooth was slightly cracked or chipped.  In this procedure, we shape a tooth-colored material into the perfect position and then harden it in place.  We can also use a dental veneer which is a thin shell that is placed on the surface of the tooth and bonded in place. This solution is one of our most popular cosmetic dentistry tools.  If the tooth is more severely damaged or cracked, we can place a dental crown around it. A crown is a cap that surrounds the tooth entirely so that nothing can touch it directly.  All of these solutions are tooth-colored and natural looking and will do an excellent job of restoring your damaged tooth or teeth.

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