• September 11, 2017

You and your family are settling in for a weekend of watching football. You’ve even invited a few family friends over for a cookout.

Before the guests arrive, you decide to toss the pigskin around with your son. He’s getting older, and he’s gotten pretty good at throwing a tight spiral. You were having fun … until you took your eye off the ball at the wrong time.

The football smacks you right in the mouth, and you stagger backward a bit. Your son asks if you’re OK. You start to say yes as you put your hand to your mouth. When you see a bit of blood on your fingers, you feel around a bit. It appears that part of one of your teeth is now missing.

Not the whole tooth, just part of it.

At Shorewood Family Dental Care, we would consider this broken tooth to be a dental emergency. Do you know what you should do in this situation? If not, we’ll give in the answer in a moment.

One thing you will definitely want to do as soon as you are able is to call 815-768-1615 to contact our dentist office if you live in or near Shorewood, IL.

 

How To Handle A Broken Tooth

Football accidents are just one way people can and have broken teeth over the years. Walking or running into something or someone, falling and hitting your mouth, or getting hit with an elbow trying to get a rebound in a basketball game are among the many reasons people break teeth every day.

Once you have a broken tooth, however, how you got it becomes a lot less important than what you do about it.

One of the first things you should do is make sure the bleeding has stopped. Rinse your mouth with warm water, and use gauze to wipe the blood from your mouth. If the bleeding continues, repeat those steps.

Broken teeth can have sharp edges or points that can cut the soft tissues of your mouth — cheeks, lips, and tongue. When bleeding has stopped, you should use gauze or dental wax to cover the broken tooth.

You may be in pain after a traumatic injury, so you may want to take an over-the-counter pain medicine (e.g. aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen). If you are having swelling around your broken tooth, then you may want to apply an ice pack or cold compress to the affected area.

If you can find the broken tooth, wrap it in wet gauze or a wet towel to bring with you when you see the dentist.

 

Why You Should Fix Your Broken Tooth

When a tooth breaks, it may expose the inner layers of that tooth. Bacteria can eat through the dentin (a softer layer underneath the enamel), which means it could reach the pulp faster.

Pulp is a soft connective tissue found in the pulp chamber at the center of the tooth. When bacteria reach the pulp, it can cause a tooth infection, which can be painful and may require a root canal treatment.

How your broken tooth is treated will depend on a variety of factors including how deep the break is. Our immediate goal will be to alleviate your pain. Then we will turn our attention to what needs to be done to restore the function of your broken tooth and your smile.

In some cases, dental bonding may be all you need. In other situations, bonding may provide a temporary solution until you can a dental veneer or a dental crown.

 

Call Us For Any Dental Emergency

Whether you have a broken tooth, a tooth that has been knocked-out, a toothache, or any other dental emergency, our team at Shorewood Family Dental Care wants you to get help as soon as possible.

We make every effort to see emergency patients on the same day they call. While we hope you never need to call us for this reason, we encourage you to save our number — 815-768-1615 — just in case.