Cracked Tooth? What To Do When You Can't Get To A Dentist Right Away

Cracking a tooth is a painful and frightening ordeal. While your teeth are designed to put forth a lot of pressure, they can still get cracked or chipped with just the right amount of force. You can crack a tooth on a hard piece of food or even ice.
When you crack a tooth you may notice a sharp, stabbing pain. This is likely your tooth's roots and nerves being exposed to the air, which can be quite shocking. When you crack a tooth, it is important to know what to do until you can get to a dentist to avoid further injury. Here is a guide to help you.

Evaluate the Damage

If your tooth simply cracked on a piece of food or you lost part of a tooth that was already rotting, then you can simply apply ice to the area to reduce swelling and pain.
If your tooth was damaged due to an accident or head/face trauma, then you should see a medical doctor or go to the emergency room right away. You want to address all bodily damage in addition to your lost or fractured tooth.
Drop the portion of or whole tooth into a solution of saline, saliva, or milk to preserve it and take it with you to the medical care center.
A dental emergency is very serious. Call your dentist right away if you are experiencing severe pain, vomiting, dizziness, or other problems after chipping or cracking a tooth.

Keep the Area Clean

It's important that you keep the area clean after you chip, crack, or break a tooth. You do not want bacteria or debris getting into your tooth or gums, which can make the damage worse and cause infection. Do the following to keep your mouth clean until you can get to the dentist:
  • Rinse with equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide
  • Rinse with salt water
  • Pack the affected area with clean gauze
Make sure to rinse after every meal and consult with your dentist about how to brush your teeth until you can have your damaged tooth looked at.

Manage Your Pain

A cracked or broken tooth often comes with a lot of pain or swelling in the gums. To manage your pain at home until you can get to the dentist, place an ice pack over your cheek next to the affected tooth for a few minutes at a time, repeating several times a day.
You can also manage pain with an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen. Some home remedies you can place directly on the affected tooth include fresh crushed garlic or clove oil.
When using home remedies to manage your tooth pain, watch out for signs of infection that require immediate medical care, such as ongoing fever, swelling in the face or neck, ear or cheek pain, or a foul taste in the mouth. Discontinue use of home remedies and seek emergency medical care or call your dentist for an emergency appointment if you notice any of the above symptoms.
When you crack or chip a tooth, it is best to know how to immediately deal with the situation to avoid further injury or pain.
After you call your dentist to make an appointment, take care of your mouth by keeping your wound area clean. If you encounter worsening pain or other severe symptoms, seek emergency care immediately at your local hospital or clinic.
For all your dental needs, reach out to us at Wasson Family & Cosmetic Dentistry. We are able to treat all kinds of dental conditions and put your comfort and health first.