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Cosmetic Dentistry

What To Do If You Break a Tooth

July 11, 2019

Life isn’t always convenient, and sometimes breaks or chips happen (and we aren’t talking about the yummy barbeque kind). Eating hard or crunchy foods can be risky business when it comes to your teeth. Even the foods you eat on a daily basis can be dangerous and cause harm to your chompers if you are not careful. That’s why it is essential to know how to take care of--or even better--prevent, these inconvenient nicks in your teeth. 

Man with Chipped Tooth

What to avoid

Avoidance is the first step in keeping your teeth healthy and free of breaks or chips. Good oral hygiene is essential. Consistent brushing and flossing will help keep your teeth strong and healthy, therefore making breakage less likely in the long run. It is necessary to be aware of what you’re eating and to take action, instead of just diving in. Imagine it’s your family barbeque, for example, and a fresh juicy steak is placed in front of you. You take the first delicious bite when, crunch, you hit a bone. This is not only painful, but also a little bit gross. Hard things like this can lead to small cracks that lay the grounds for future breaks. If you are eating meat of some sort, avoiding teeth-to-bone contact is very important. Meat isn’t the only tooth crunching food out there. Chewing hard candies such as mints, suckers, or jawbreakers not only causes breakage, but can be highly unhealthy for the enamel on your teeth. Chewing on ice is also something to be wary of.  

What happens if you don’t repair a cracked tooth 

 A crack or chip may not seem like a big deal in the moment, especially if it is small or out of view. But the truth is, these nicks can cause plenty of damage and lead to a lot of pain and discomfort in the future. Some may be sharp and uncomfortable in the mouth, causing cuts, bleeding, or pain along the tongue. Along with this, deeper cracks or chips can affect the roots of your tooth, which can cause them to get infected and eventually lead to toothaches. Tooth decay is also a horrid side effect of this process. The decaying of a tooth can lead to things such as bad breath and sensitivity and even browning and discoloration of the tooth. Cracks and chips will often grow larger, leading to the need for root canals or even the removal of the tooth. 

Dentist Fix Chipped Tooth

Taking Action 

It is important to visit the dentist as soon as possible after an incident such as this occurs. The longer you wait, the riskier it can be. If we catch cracks or chips in the beginning when they are smaller, chances are you won’t need major work done. Merely filling the tooth may fix it right up. But, if the chip or crack is more profound, more extensive work will need to be done. If the damage is a little more extreme, a crown (also known as a cap) may need to be put in place to prevent further damage and infection. If the damage is more severe than this and penetrates the pulp of the tooth, the part of the tooth where the nerves and vessels are located, then more severe action must be put in place, such as a root canal. 

Here at Apple Tree Dental in Rexburg, we understand that sometimes life hits you… right in the teeth. Our staff is fully prepared to help with any oral inconvenience that life throws at you. So, if you happen to chip or crack a tooth, or run into any other dental mishap, let us at Apple Tree Dental give you a hand. We’d be happy to help!