Our teeth are designed to withstand as much as 200 pounds of force when we bite down on a piece of food, yet they are surprisingly fragile. Getting hit in the face, falling on our mouth, or biting on something hard can crack or chip a tooth.
Unless you break off a large piece of the tooth, exposing the nerve it does not usually hurt. The sharp area may feel rough to your tongue but it is not painful. Damaging the nerve in your tooth is one of the most unpleasant worst-case dental scenarios, and it requires immediate attention by a dental professional.
Until you get to the dentist office, here are some actions you can take to protect the chipped or cracked area:
- Rinse your mouth with warm water, taking care not to swallow or choke on a piece of tooth
- Apply pressure to your gums for several minutes to stop any bleeding
- Use a cold pack on your cheek or lips to reduce any swelling
- Use over-the-counter dental cement available from a drugstore to cover your tooth if you cannot get to the dentist the same day
- Use over-the-counter pain relief if you’re experiencing pain
Depending on the type of break or fracture, we will repair your tooth with different treatments. Light surface cracks can be polished, or we may be able to repair the damage with a filling if it’s just a small piece of enamel that has ben chipped off.
Severe crumbling or nerve damage may require a dental crown or a root canal. If your front tooth has been damaged, we might perform a procedure called bonding using composite resin that matches the color of your tooth.
A cracked or chipped tooth requires immediate attention to prevent further complications. Contact us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment!