What To Do If You Crack A Tooth

Anyone can crack a tooth at any time and anywhere. If this happens, you should schedule a visit with your dentist in Boerne as soon as you can. But there are a few things you can do at home to help protect your tooth and relieve any pain that you may have. Keep in mind, these tips are only temporary and you still need to be seen by a dentist for proper treatment. 

At-Home Treatment

If you happen to crack a tooth at night or on a weekend when your dentist may not be readily available, try these tips for temporary help:

  • If you can, take over-the-counter pain medication. 
  • Use a dental anesthetic to help numb the area. 
  • Rinse with warm salt water a few times a day to remove bacteria.
  • Apply an ice pack to your cheek to reduce swelling. 

Signs of a Cracked Tooth

Sometimes you can crack a tooth and not even know it. But most often, a cracked tooth comes along with a few key signs, including the following from the American Association of Endodontists

  • Pain while chewing
  • Sensitivity to hot, cold, and sweets
  • Pain that comes and goes

Cracked Tooth Treatment

If you do crack a tooth, don’t worry. There are several different ways that your dentist in Boerne may use to fix it. 

Bonding – Bonding is a simple, painless way to repair a cracked tooth. Your dentist will fit the crack with a sticky resin, harden it using a special light, and restore your tooth. 

Dental Crowns – Another option to treat a cracked tooth is a dental crown. This is usually more appropriate for a larger crack. Your dentist in Boerne will create and place a custom crown over the affected tooth, protecting it from more damage. Each crown is designed to match the shape, color, and size of your other teeth so nobody will ever know it’s there. 

Root Canal – If a crack is deep enough to affect the inner tooth, you may need a root canal. A root canal may sound scary and painful, but the opposite is true. During a root canal, your dentist will remove any affected pulp which will relieve any pain you may have. A root canal can also protect you from developing an infection. 

Tooth Extraction – When a cracked tooth goes beyond repair and affects too much of the natural tooth structure, your dentist may recommend an extraction. However, many times, extracted teeth can be replaced with a dental implant or bridge so you don’t need to live with a missing tooth. 

It is possible to have a cracked tooth and not know it. However, the longer a cracked tooth goes undetected and untreated, the more it can lead to bigger problems. This is why it’s so important to see your dentist at least twice a year. These regular visits help identify any problems early while they’re easier to treat.

4 Ways to Avoid a Dental Emergency

Nobody wants to experience a dental emergency but the truth is, they happen. While many times a dental emergency is unavoidable or is a result of an unexpected accident, your dentist in Boerne wants you to know that there are some ways you can reduce your risk of a dental emergency. 

  • Don’t Smoke. One of the best ways you can not only reduce your risk of a dental emergency but also bigger oral health and overall health problems down the road is to avoid smoking or using tobacco in any form. Both smoking cigarettes and using smokeless tobacco increases the risk of gum disease, oral cancer, tooth discoloration, and tooth loss. 
  • Practice Safe Snacking. We’re not here to tell you to completely avoid snacking on your favorite treats. But your dentist in Boerne does want to encourage you to practice safe snacking by limiting the number of times you snack throughout the day. Constant snacking exposes your teeth to food particles around the clock. This can continuously feed the bacteria in your mouth, which means the bacteria continuously releases acid. This acid can easily damage and weaken enamel and increases the risk of decay. You should also choose your snack foods carefully. Some snacks such as popcorn or nuts can increase the risk of an accidental cracked or chipped tooth thanks to hidden kernels or hard pieces. 
  • Don’t Chew on Things You Shouldn’t. Besides food, our teeth shouldn’t be used to chew on anything. This includes pens, pencils, fingernails, and even ice. These objects are hard and can easily cause teeth to chip, crack, or even break. If you find yourself chewing out of anxiousness or stress, try to chew away at a piece of Xylitol gum instead of your office supplies. 
  • Take it Easy on the Drinks. The best way to fuel your body and protect your teeth is to drink plenty of water throughout the day. On the other hand, beverages that are high in acid or sugar can expose your teeth to these damaging ingredients. Try to limit your intake of soft drinks, fruit juice, and even sports drinks. All of these beverages either contain a lot of sugar that can easily coat your teeth or are acidic and will wear away tooth enamel.

As always, brushing and flossing your teeth every day is a great way to remove bacteria that may have built up throughout the day. You can also rinse your mouth out with water after snacking to help get rid of food particles that would otherwise feed bacteria. But these preventive measures only go so far, and you should still see your dentist in Boerne for regular checkups and cleanings.* 

If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, call your dentist.
*At the time of publishing, the ADA has recommended the postponement of all preventive dental appointments. Please check your local recommendations.

Dental Emergency? Try These Tips.

Emergencies of any kind can cause fear and discomfort. Dental emergencies are no different and can be particularly concerning. What exactly are you supposed to do if you experience a dental emergency such as a broken tooth, a knocked out tooth, or a painful toothache? The team at our Boerne dental office is here to give you some advice on how to handle some of the most common dental emergencies.

Top Dental Emergencies & Treatment Tips

It’s important to note that any dental emergency, including injuries to the mouth, teeth, or gums, should be treated by a dentist in Boerne as quickly as possible. But if you can’t get to the dentist right away, there are some things you can do to help minimize discomfort and protect your tooth.  

Chipped or Broken Tooth – Whether caused by a pesky popcorn kernel, sports injury, or grinding your teeth, a chipped or broken tooth may cause you to panic. Not to worry, there are many forms of cosmetic dentistry that can restore your tooth and smile. However, right after the injury happens, you may be in some pain or bleeding. The best thing to do is to rinse your mouth with warm water, apply gauze and a bit of pressure to help stop any bleeding, and use a cold compress to help reduce any swelling.

Knocked Out Tooth – Having a tooth knocked out can certainly be scary. If this happens, the first thing you should try to do is stay calm and remember the following tips:

  • Only touch the crown of the tooth. Do not touch the roots.
  • Try to replace the tooth into the socket.
  • Place the tooth in a glass of milk, store it in a cup of spit, or keep it safely under your tongue and get to a dentist. Your tooth has the best chance of survival if it’s returned to the socket within an hour.

Toothache – A toothache is usually the mouth’s way of telling us that something isn’t right, and it definitely shouldn’t be ignored. See your dentist as quickly as you can to increase the chance of easier and successful treatment. Prior to your appointment, you can ease the pain by using a cold compress or over-the-counter pain reliever.

We never want our patients to experience a dental emergency, but the truth is, they happen. If they do, we welcome you to call our dental office in Boerne. We’re here to help protect smiles and treat them if something happens. Call us today.