It can happen to anyone — you have a nasty collision playing sports or you bite into a piece of hard food, and suddenly, you feel a sharp pain and start to panic. Breaking a tooth is a serious injury that can lead to a range of consequences for your health, though it can be treated if you seek help right away.
Explore our guide to learn about the causes and symptoms of broken teeth, in addition to your options for treatment.
Causes of Broken Teeth
Tooth enamel is the hardest, most mineralized tissue in your body, providing extremely durable protection. However, breaking a tooth can happen, and it’s important to be aware of the most likely causes so you can reduce your risk.
Some of these include:
- Trauma to the face (fistfight, car accident, sports injury, etc.)
- Biting hard foods (ice, nuts, hard candy, etc.)
- Pressure from teeth grinding
- Weakened teeth from age or poor oral hygiene
- Untreated cavities or overly large fillings
Symptoms of Broken Teeth
The symptoms you experience after breaking a tooth will depend on where the break occurs, as well as the severity of the damage. Some of the most common symptoms are:
- Pain when chewing or biting
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Swollen gum tissue around the affected tooth
In most cases, your pain will come and go unless you’re using the tooth, such as when you eat. It’s also not always easy to pinpoint the precise location of your pain.
What to Do After Breaking a Tooth
The first and most important thing you should do after breaking a tooth is call your dentist. Don’t try to fix the tooth yourself or wait a few days to see if the pain dissipates. The sooner you get to your dentist, the greater the chance of them saving your tooth.
Many practices offer emergency dental service for patients who require immediate care. Some dentists, like Dr. Mustafa Yazar in Kenton, OH, even have an emergency number that you can call outside of working hours.
While you wait for your appointment, there are a few ways to minimize your bleeding and discomfort:
- Rinse your mouth out with warm water
- Use gauze or a tea bag to apply pressure to any bleeding areas until it stops
- Use a cold pack on your cheeks to minimize swelling and alleviate pain
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever (Tylenol®, Ibuprofen, etc.)
Treatments for Broken Teeth
If the break in your tooth isn’t too severe and you visit your dentist right away, you may be able to avoid an extraction. For minor chips and cracks, cosmetic treatments such as dental bonding and porcelain veneers can cover the damage to help you achieve a flawless smile.
For more severe breaks, your dentist can place a small, durable cap called a dental crown over your tooth to restore its strength and appearance. Customized fillings called inlays and onlays are another option, often used as an alternative to dental crowns that requires less removal of your natural tooth structure.
While all of these treatments are effective, they’re often not enough to treat a tooth that’s broken down to the root. In cases like these, the best option may be to remove the impacted tooth and replace it root to crown with a dental implant.
Dental implants are a natural-looking, permanent solution for missing teeth. They’re also the only tooth replacement that protects your long-term oral health in addition to enhancing your smile. This is thanks to osseointegration, the process of your titanium implant fixture fusing directly with your jawbone to stimulate healthy growth.
If you want a restoration that looks and functions like your natural teeth, no other option comes close to dental implants. Seek out a dentist who specializes in placing high-quality implants, such as Dr. Peter Troyan in Hoffman Estates, IL. As a trainee of the Misch International Implant Institute, he has the experience needed to restore health and beauty to your smile.
Same Day Dental Implants
Typically, receiving dental implants requires multiple appointments over the course of a few months. However, thanks to advances in technology, some dentists are now able to provide same day implants. Also known as immediate load implants, this convenient option allows you to enjoy all the benefits of a healthy smile after just one short appointment.
Same day dental implants are an excellent option for patients with busy schedules who might have difficulty committing to the standard process. Best of all, you won’t have to live with gaps in your smile while your implant integrates with your jawbone.
Not all implant providers feature an immediate load option, so you may be tempted to rush to the first one you find. This isn’t a good plan, as successfully placing same day implants requires a dentist with extensive training.
Instead, hold out for an experienced dentist like Dr. Christopher Silvoy in Durham, NC. To earn Diplomate status with the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI), he completed over 120 successful implant cases and 250 hours of continuing education.
Protect Your Health
A broken tooth is never a welcome occurrence, but it doesn’t have to ruin your health if you’re proactive. In the case of an emergency, seek out your dentist immediately to improve your chance of saving your tooth.
In the event that your tooth is removed, there’s no better choice than dental implants. Find a trustworthy provider who can protect your health and restore your smile.