Immediate Care for a Broken Tooth

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It can happen when you least expect it; a dental emergency involving a broken tooth can not only be painful, but can cause emotional stress. Rest assured that when emergencies happen in Atlanta, GA, Dr. Richard L. Rodgers and our team are here to help! It’s important to contact our team immediately once a broken tooth or other dental emergency has occurred. Below, learn some tips to stabilize a broken tooth and relieve pain until you can be seen by Dr. Rodgers.

Teeth that have become loose, are broken, have been knocked out, or gums that are bleeding severely are all signs that you are experiencing a dental emergency. Call our office so you can see Dr. Rodgers right away for a quick emergency procedure to restore and protect the health of your mouth.

Why Teeth Break

Tooth enamel is made up of hydroxyapatite: a mineral form of calcium phosphate. Enamel is the hardest biological material and is even harder than steel, but can be a lot more brittle. Often, teeth chip, break, or crack due to:

  • Biting down on something hard
  • Injury to the face
  • Large or widespread cavities or old fillings which weaken the enamel

Sometimes, a broken tooth doesn’t hurt right away. But usually, you’ll be able to tell right away that the tooth has broken because of the presence of a sharp or jagged edge on the tooth or sometimes blood in the mouth. Additionally, you may find the broken piece of tooth in your mouth. If the nerve ending inside the inner tooth becomes exposed to air or temperature changes, pain can also accompany these signs. Pain may be constant, or may come and go.

After calling our office, take the following steps to relieve your symptoms and ensure your mouth is taken care of until Dr. Rodgers can restore the tooth. A filling, inlay or only, or dental crown may be required to correct the broken tooth. However, a tooth’s nerve that has been exposed and damaged will probably require root canal therapy.

What to Do

  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water.
  • If you can locate the broken tooth piece, keep it in a glass of milk and be sure to bring it to the appointment. Though Dr. Rodgers may be unable to use the broken piece of tooth during his restoration, keeping it in milk ensures the tooth maintains its strength and can be returned to the tooth.
  • If bleeding occurs, apply pressure with a piece of gauze for about 10 minutes onto the broken tooth or nearby gums. Continue until bleeding stops, or try a tea bag, in place of gauze, if bleeding persists.
  • Apply ice to the face in the area of the broken tooth. This will not only help to reduce swelling, but can relieve pain.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Follow all dosage instructions on the box.
  • If you can’t see Dr. Rodgers within a few hours, cover the broken tooth with a dental cement available at most drug stores. This is a temporary treatment, and can be removed by Dr. Rodgers at your appointment.  

Contact Richard L. Rodgers II, DDS, FAGD

If you are experiencing a dental emergency, do not put off treatment. Contact our office immediately at 404.577.6620 for assistance. Our team will help ensure you see Dr. Rodgers as soon as possible.

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