Oh No – I Broke a Tooth!

Posted: March 25, 2016   Article

Bakersfield, CA – Enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, but that doesn’t mean it is completely resistant to damage. While our teeth are remarkably strong, there are still things we can do to chip or break them.

Common things I see in my office that have led to a broken tooth include:

  • Breakage caused by a facial injury
  • Damage caused by biting down on something hard
  • Cavities that have weakened the tooth
  • Old amalgam fillings that have left the remaining tooth structure weak

4_New Image3_New ImageNo matter what caused your tooth to break, you should call your Bakersfield dentist right away to have it repaired. You may think it isn’t an emergency, and it may not be causing any pain. However, it can lead to further damage and injury, especially the root portion of the tooth.

Until you can get to my office, though, there are a few things you should do. First, rinse your mouth out well with warm water to remove any tooth particles or other debris that may be in your mouth. If your tooth is bleeding, use gauze to stop the bleeding. If there is any pain, you can use an ice pack to help reduce discomfort and swelling, and take an over-the-counter pain reliever.

Even if it just looks like a tiny crack in your tooth, it’s important to call right away. Even the smallest fracture can lead to serious problems, so it’s best to have any issue corrected as soon as possible. The extent of the crack or break will determine how I am able to repair it. If it is very small, I may simply be able to smooth and polish the area so no one will be able to tell that it was ever damaged at all.

If your entire tooth has cracked or broken, we may be able to use composite filling to repair it. If the crack has affected the nerve, you may also require root canal therapy to prevent bacteria and infection in the pulp of the tooth. Often times, you may also require a crown over the tooth to restore tooth function and prevent further cracking.

In the rare but unfortunate case when the damaged tooth must be extracted, a state-of-the-art dental implant that will function just as your own natural tooth can be a wise investment.

Failing to repair or replace your broken tooth can not only cause you more pain in the future, it can also be more expensive. If you have experienced damage to a tooth and have yet to see a dentist, please seriously consider making an appointment today to get your smile healthy and back in working order.

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