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Why You Shouldn’t Ignore a Broken Tooth

Any broken tooth is a dental emergency, regardless of whether you feel intense pain. Sometimes, a broken tooth signals you immediately if it’s knocked out or if there’s pain that you can’t ignore. Other times, a small break or crack may not hurt so bad, or at all, or the pain may stop after a while, making you doubt the wisdom of visiting the dentist.

Don’t hesitate when you sustain a broken tooth, regardless of the cause or the level of resulting pain. Serious oral issues can develop from the simplest broken tooth; an infection could lead to gum disease or even tooth loss. So don’t ignore the problem — get to a qualified emergency dentist for care right away. 

Dr. David Ouellet at Pacific Coast Smiles in Santa Maria, California, provides quality and compassionate emergency dentistry services when a broken tooth or other dental problem threatens your immediate oral health. If you sustain a broken tooth, call us to let us know you’re on your way. 

Recover and preserve a knocked out tooth

If you have a knocked out tooth, look around and recover all the pieces. Rinse them in cool water to remove any debris, but avoid using soap or cleaners. Handle the tooth by the crown, or the top, and not by the root section. If you can recover the entire, intact tooth, Dr. Ouellet may be able to reinsert it. 

Keep the tooth moist. If a container is available, place the freshly rinsed tooth into it and cover the tooth with saliva. If you have ready access to milk, this is an even better liquid for preserving your tooth. You also can hold it in your mouth, against your cheek.

If the trauma has passed or if you’re a teen or adult, you may try reinserting an intact tooth back into the socket. This is by far the best means of preserving your tooth until you can reach the emergency dentist’s office, but don’t try this if your tooth is in multiple pieces.

Control bleeding and pain

A broken tooth may bleed at the gums or from the socket. If a sterile gauze pad is available, press it against your bleeding gums or bite down on it. If gauze is not available, a piece of damp paper towel will do. Pack it around the tooth or the hole and bite down gently. 

You may take over-the-counter medication to help dull the pain. If no medicine is available, you can hold a few cubes of ice wrapped in a towel against your jaw. It may be a good idea for someone else to drive you to the dentist’s office while you deal with bleeding and caring for your tooth. 

Get to an emergency dentist

Do your best to arrive at our office as quickly as possible after losing the tooth. In many cases, if you can arrive quickly, Dr. Ouellet may be able to save or reconstruct your tooth.

Don’t ignore a broken tooth

Any broken tooth requires dental care to prevent more serious problems. Whether it’s a serious injury that results in a knocked out tooth or a small break that isn’t always painful, it’s important to take steps to protect your teeth against infection and more difficult and expensive oral health problems.

If you’ve broken or knocked out your tooth, or if you have another dental emergency, contact Pacific Coast Smiles immediately and let us know you’re coming. We’ll provide immediate care instructions while preparing for your arrival. We make every effort to see you right away to provide the care you need to keep your mouth healthy.

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