Original posted on SanTanValley.com – Published: 20 September 2015
While our teeth are extremely strong, they can break, chip, or fracture. Teeth can crack when chewing ice or hard foods, or when biting on other hard objects. Teeth that have been previously treated for a cavity or have had a prior root canal are particularly susceptible to cracking and breaking.
Cracking or breaking a tooth can cause severe pain and makes your teeth susceptible to infection and further damage. If you are unsure whether you have a cracked tooth, you can begin by simply examining the tooth to see if you can find a crack or break. You might also feel a piece of tooth missing. If you find a tooth shard, be sure to take it out of your mouth as broken tooth shards can be sharp and cause cuts in your mouth. You might also experience swelling or inflammation around the area of the cracked or broken tooth.
If you cracked your tooth severely enough, you’ll probably feel significant pain right after the injury. If your cracked tooth is less severe, you may not feel immediate pain, but may experience a more dull pain. Often your tooth will hurt only when you’re chewing or when you eat very hot or cold foods, or when you expose the tooth to cold air.
If you think you’ve broken a tooth, it’s very important to visit your San tan Valley dentist, Dr. Kelly Wettstein, as soon as possible. In the meantime, there are a few steps you can take to ease your pain and keep the tooth as healthy as possible.
First, you can begin rinsing your mouth with salt water. These rinses will help minimize your infection risk. Mix 1 tsp of salt into 1 cup of warm water, and swish the mixture around your mouth for 30 to 60 seconds. Be sure not to swallow any of the mixture. Repeat this rinse after meals.
Next, you can take over the counter pain relievers to help with the pain until you can be seen by Dr. Kelly Wettstein.
Finally, be careful when eating until you see Dr. Kelly Wettstein. Stick with soft foods, don’t eat anything especially hot or cold, and try to eat on the unaffected side of your mouth. Any chewing can cause pain and further damage, so if possible you should avoid chewing with the cracked tooth.
Don’t delay! As with other health conditions, putting off treatment can cause greater damage, more discomfort, possible infection, and often more expense. Call Affinity Dental @ 480-882-2300 to schedule an emergency dental appointment as soon as possible to ensure the best possible outcome after cracking or breaking a tooth. Dr. Kelly Wettstein will thoroughly examine the areas of concern and usually take an x-ray to best see the full extent of the crack or break. Affinity Dental reserve time in our daily schedule specifically for these types of emergencies so that you can get back to regular life as soon as possible!