broken tooth

What To Do When You Have a Broken Tooth

A broken tooth is a relatively common dental emergency that requires you to act quickly. The longer a broken tooth is left untreated, the greater the risk of infection. Prompt professional care will also maximize the chances that your dentist can save the tooth. Here’s what you should know about this dental emergency.


Possible causes

A broken tooth is typically the result of decay or some type of trauma. You might break a tooth while playing a contact sport or in some kind of accident. Alternatively, a tooth will be more susceptible to cracks, chips and breaks if it has an untreated cavity. A break can also occur if you bite into something hard, or if you have an old amalgam filling that has weakened your tooth over time.


Signs of a break

A large break is more serious than a minor chip in the enamel and can be quite painful. However, not everyone who breaks a tooth will be in constant pain. Rather, you may experience pain, discomfort or sensitivity when you chew or when the damaged tooth is exposed to hot or cold temperatures. You might also notice swelling in your gums around the broken tooth. If there is no pain, this is a sign that, if treated early, a simpler and cheaper option may be feasible when compared to waiting until there is pain.


What to do

The first thing you should do if you break a tooth is rinse your mouth with salted water. If there’s any bleeding, apply pressure with a piece of gauze or a clean cloth. Contact your dentist as soon as possible to schedule an emergency appointment. In the meantime, if there is swelling, can help minimize it by holding a cold compress against your cheek. Over-the-counter pain medication can help alleviate discomfort.


Can my broken tooth be saved?

A broken tooth can usually be saved if it’s treated quickly. Depending on the severity of the damage, your dentist may recommend a filling, crown or root canal to strengthen and repair the tooth.


Emergency dentistry in Red Deer

If you have a dental emergency such as a broken tooth or severe toothache, the staff at Parkland Mall Dental Centre can help. We’re open evenings and weekends to ensure we can provide quick treatment and relief. We also offer custom athletic mouthguards to protect your teeth from damage. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.