If your tooth chips or cracks for any reason, the first thing you should do is make sure that you do not do any further damage to the tooth. Save the broken pieces and call your dentist right away and make an emergency appointment.
Rinse your mouth out with warm salt water and place the broken chunk in a glass of milk. Place dental gauze over the tooth and lightly hold it in place by closing your mouth.
You should avoid eating or drinking until you get into your dental appointment. If this is not possible, then you should avoid any sugary foods or foods that or very hot or cold. When you chew, do not try to chew on the side of your chipped or cracked tooth.
Many times, a small chip could even go unnoticed, but a larger one or a cracked tooth that affects the nerve can be downright painful.
If you are experiencing serious pain but have to wait a matter of hours before your dental appointment, you can do a few things to mitigate the pain in the meantime:
- Use over-the-counter general pain and anti-inflammatory medicine
- Use over-the-counter dental anesthetic
- Gently floss between the damaged tooth to remove food
- Sleep in a way to keep your head elevated to reduce inflammation
Professional Care After a Chipped or Cracked Tooth
Once you finally get in to see your dentist after your accident, the type of procedure that they perform depends on the type and extent of the damage.
Only a dental professional can properly assess the damage and decide which procedure to perform, but there are different procedure depending on whether or not the tooth is chipped, cracked, split, and even what the cause of the crack was. For example, if it was merely a physical accident, the procedure would be different than if the split was caused by decay.
No matter the case, you should call your dentist right away after a dental emergency occurs.