Teeth are the strongest part of the body, but they can still be damaged if you're struck in the mouth or bite into something hard, especially if they have already been weakened.
If you chip, crack or break a tooth, call your dental clinic immediately. Depending on your situation, you may be booked in for a same day appointment with an emergency dentist or they may have advice about how to care for your mouth at home until you can visit the clinic.
First aid for a chipped or cracked tooth
You can't fix a broken tooth at home, but there are things you can do to protect your mouth from further injury before you can see a dentist. These includes:
- Rinsing your mouth with warm water to remove any broken pieces of tooth and debris, taking care not to swallow
- Applying pressure with a clean cloth or gauze to control bleeding
- Placing a cold compress against your cheek to reduce swelling
- Covering any sharp edges of the tooth with dental wax or a piece of sugar-free chewing gum to avoid cutting your tongue and mouth
Pain relief for a broken tooth
A chipped or cracked tooth can be painful. You can manage pain and reduce swelling by taking over-the-counter pain relief or anti-inflammatory medication, not exceeding the recommended dose.
Swelling may also be reduced by regularly applying an ice pack or cold compress or applying a small amount of clove oil to the area.
If you can't see your dentist straight away, try to avoid eating or flossing around the injured tooth until your appointment.
Can an injured tooth heal by itself?
If broken bones can heal themselves over time, what about damaged teeth? That depends on how severe the damage is and how well you care for your oral health.
Teeth with minor cracks or other superficial damage may heal by themselves over time, provided you follow your dentist's advice about brushing, flossing and a healthy diet.
Minerals in saliva help to rebuild teeth enamel, and this process can be helped along by making sure your diet contains calcium, phosphorus and other teeth-friendly nutrition.
Teeth with more severe chips, cracks or fractures can't heal by themselves and will need professional care.
How can dentists fix a broken tooth?
Dentists can usually repair a chipped or cracked tooth. The treatments they recommend will depend on how severe the damage is, and may include:
- Composite bonding to repair small chips and cover minor cracks
- Root canal therapy to disinfect a tooth, followed by placing a dental crown
- If a tooth is too damaged to repair, the only option will be extraction. Your dentist will discuss replacing an extracted tooth with a dental implant, bridge or denture to maintain your oral health and restore your smile.
How to protect your teeth
You can't always avoid dental injuries, but you can lower your risks of needing an emergency dentist by:
- Following good oral hygiene and a healthy diet
- Avoiding foods that are too hard
- Not using your teeth to open or tear objects
- Wearing a custom mouthguard when playing contact sports
- Keeping up with your regular dental visits
Emergency dentist in Everton Park and Mitchelton
If you've damaged or injured a tooth, call our team at Swish Dental right away for advice or to book a same day appointment with an emergency dentist at your nearest Brisbane dental clinic.