Tips on Handling a Broken Tooth

While teeth are very strong, they can break, chip, or crack. When this happens, it may not be painful, but the sharp edge can irritate the tongue quickly.

However, sometimes, the broken tooth does cause extreme pain. You should always see your dentist as soon as possible but these tips will help keep you comfortable in the meantime.

What Can You Do for a Broken Tooth?

Cracked Teeth. You need to see a dentist to treat this because there is no at home treatment.

The tooth may only hurt when you eat or drink, but if it hurts continuously you may have damaged nerves or blood vessels.

This can cause serious complications so you should see the dentist as soon as possible.

[Related: Ways Teeth Get Chipped]

Broken Tooth

Although you will need to see a dentist asap to determine if the nerve has been damaged, there are steps you can take at home.

  • Rinse well with warm water
  • Take an over the counter pain reliever
  • Apply pressure to the broken tooth with gauze to stop bleeding
  • Apply an ice pack to help reduce swelling and relieve pain

[Related: Double Teeth in Kids]

Types of Breaks

There are many types of tooth fractures and breaks. Each requires a different treatment. These include:

Minor Cracks

Also known as ‘craze lines’, these only affect the surface of the tooth. They rarely need treatment, but your dentist may polish the area to smooth out rough spots.

Cracked Tooth

This type of crack affects the entire tooth, from the top down to the nerve. While the pieces remain intact, the crack will slowly spread.

Sometimes it can be repaired with filling material but usually a crown n is required. If the pulp is damaged, a root canal may be necessary.


broken tooth

If the chip is minor it may not require treatment.

Otherwise, the dentist may repair the damage and restore the tooth’s shape.

A crown or onlay may be required.

Serious Breaks

These deep breaks expose nerves and cause pain and sensitivity. They also usually bleed.

This break normally requires a root canal to remove the exposed nerve and a crown to restore functionality to the tooth.

Split Tooth

This is when the tooth splits vertically into two pieces. Back teeth have more than one root and sometimes one root can be saved and covered with a crown.

This requires root canal treatment first. Then, the dentist will remove any roots that cannot be saved and cover the remaining root with a crown. In some cases, none of the root can be saved and the tooth is removed.

Vertical Breaks or Split Root

These cracks start in the root and spread up toward the chewing surface.

They are usually very painful and often become inflamed or infected. Usually, these teeth must be removed.

Decay-induced Breaks

Decay weakens the teeth and causes breaks. The dentist will have to exam the cavity and recommend the best way to restore the tooth.

In cases of extensive decay, the tooth will need to be removed. null

Pediatric Dentist in Chicago

If your child has a broken, fractured, or chipped tooth, seek immediate treatment.

A broken tooth is no fun at all but Dr. Loretta Smith can get you fixed up and back normal quickly! Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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