You may take amazing care of your teeth, but sometimes dental emergencies happen. Many times patients get a fracture or have broken teeth without meaning to. This can happen through sports injuries, accidents, or even eating food that is too hard for your teeth. Sometimes, broken teeth happen due to tooth decay or gum disease that has weakened your teeth and gums. There is a difference between broken teeth, a chipped tooth, and one that is fractured. We have treatments to remedy all of these situations and tips to help you avoid broken teeth from occurring in the first place. Protect your teeth from breakage and keep a strong smile with our help!
Dental emergencies happen every day all across the United States. The majority of broken teeth and other dental emergencies happen either from sports injuries or tooth decay. With sports injuries, usually the break, chip, fracture or injury is sudden and is caused by an impact with the face. When it comes to tooth decay, you probably have had a cavity forming for some time that has weakened your tooth. Then, simply eating a hard food can break your tooth or cause injury. Some of the most common dental emergencies include toothaches, broken teeth, knocked-out permanent teeth, a cut or bitten lip, tongue, or cheek, broken braces and wires or a broken jaw.
With a toothache, tooth decay is generally the cause. Some cavities sit right on the surface of your tooth, whereas others lie inside your tooth and spread decay from within. If you are receiving your dental cleanings and exams frequently, then we are easily able to spot areas of decay in your teeth before the problem becomes severe. This way, we can remove a cavity and provide a filling so that you keep almost all of your natural tooth without a dental emergency in the future. However, dental emergencies will inevitably happen to many patients, and there are ways to remedy those emergencies.
W hen it comes to dental emergencies, broken teeth are no joke. Most (if not all) patients never want to break a tooth. Broken teeth cause erratic and throbbing pain and can be especially painful to chew on. Even a very small chip or crack can cause sharp, shooting pain. You will also experience pain and sensitivity with hot or cold foods and beverages. The American Association of Endodontists states that when you break or chip a tooth, it can affect the inner pulp of your tooth. This is where the nerves and blood vessels of your tooth reside. When you chew, the parts of your teeth move around, which can damage those nerves and blood vessels, causing you pain.
Broken teeth can also lead to tooth decay, and it can lead there very quickly. If you have a crack in your teeth, then you have created a doorway for plaque to get to the inside of your tooth. If that happens, that soft, pulpy tooth center can decay rapidly in just a matter of weeks or months depending on the person.
Your teeth are meant to be permanent, so you never want to lose one if you don’t have to. If you have a broken tooth, we recommend that you take immediate action to save your tooth. Rinse the area with warm water. Put a cold compress over the facial area of the injury. If you are able to, recover any broken tooth fragments. As always, make sure to get immediate dental attention. That means, come into our office if you break your tooth during a normal business hour, and always call us (especially if it’s a weekend and the office is closed). We are sometimes able to fix a broken tooth if the break isn’t bad. However, there are patients who will opt to have a new tooth through a dental implant or through porcelain veneers.
To receive an implant, you generally have to lose your tooth. We then implant a post in your jawbone, allowing it to heal. Once healed, we attach a new, custom-made tooth on top of the post that is very strong and looks like your natural tooth. For other patients, a chip, crack, or broken tooth will change their smile. They can receive a brand new, beautiful smile with porcelain veneers. These are custom-made shells that go over your natural teeth and provide you with a perfectly white and beautiful smile for many years to come. As a patient, you have several options for fixing your smile.
One of the best ways to prevent broken teeth is to keep those teeth healthy and strong. You can do that through good oral hygiene practices that you use every single day. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. However, you can reduce your risk for tooth decay and broken teeth even more if you brush your teeth after every meal. This removes plaque from your teeth, which is the substance that is responsible for weakening teeth and causing decay. The less plaque you have, the stronger your teeth can be.
What you eat can also make a difference in your tooth health. Eat foods high in calcium to help your teeth stay strong. Avoid acidic foods such as citrus fruits and drinks, and beverages that are carbonated. These erode your tooth enamel over time. Refrain from tobacco and alcohol use, both of which can weaken tooth enamel. As always, come into the office at least biannually for your comprehensive examinations and your dental cleanings. These can keep your teeth clean and alert us to any changes in your tooth health, such as the presence of cavities. To schedule your exam and cleaning, call Mountain Aire Dentistry today at (303) 731-7755!