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General Practice 2023

Broken tooth: what to do and when to go to the dentist

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Broken tooth: what to do and when to go to the dentist
Broken tooth: what to do and when to go to the dentist

A broken tooth usually causes toothache, infections, chewing disorders and even jaw problems, and therefore should always be evaluated by a dentist.

The tooth breaks or gets cracked after a fall or accident, which usually causes some bleeding in the gum, and in this case what you should do is stop the bleeding, placing a gauze wet in cold water over the place and press for a few minutes. This is usually effective and controls the bleeding within minutes, but still, the most sensible thing is to go to the dentist to restore the tooth.

What to do in case of a broken tooth

After the bleeding has stopped, place an ice cube on the affected area or suck on a popsicle to prevent swelling in the mouth.In addition, it is important to rinse your mouth with cold water and avoid using a toothbrush on the bleeding site. It is also not recommended to use mouthwashes because they can make bleeding worse.

Then, the affected tooth should be evaluated to see if it is cracked or broken:

1. If the tooth is cracked or broken:

It is advisable to make an appointment with the dentist to assess the need for specialized treatment of the tooth. Even if it is a baby tooth, the dentist can advise that a restoration is done because the broken tooth is more difficult to clean and favors the installation of caries and bacterial plaque.

2. If the tooth has fallen out:

  • If it is a baby tooth: If the tooth has really come out completely, it is not necessary to put another tooth in place as the loss of a primary tooth does not cause any change in the teeth position or speech difficulties.And at the correct stage the definitive tooth will be born normally. But if the child loses a tooth in an accident, long before the age of 6 or 7, it is important to evaluate with the dentist whether it is worth using an appliance to keep the space open for the final tooth to come through easily.
  • If it is a permanent tooth: wash the tooth only with warm water and place it in a glass of cold milk or in a container with the child's own saliva, or in the case of an adult leaving it in the mouth, it is another excellent alternative to leave the tooth viable for re-implantation, which should happen no later than 1 hour after the accident. Understand when dental implant is the best option.

How to restore a broken tooth

The treatment to restore a broken tooth will depend on which part of the tooth is broken. When a permanent tooth breaks below the bone line, the tooth is usually extracted and an implant placed in its place.But if the permanent tooth has broken above the bone line, the tooth can be rooted out, rebuilt and given a new crown. If the broken tooth affects only the enamel of the tooth, the tooth can be reconstructed only with composites.

Learn what to do if your tooth is crooked, stuck in your gums, or becomes soft.

Does the broken tooth grow back?

The broken tooth does not grow back, and it is necessary to consult the dentist so that the most appropriate treatment is carried out to restore the tooth. In cases where the broken tooth was the milk tooth, it is normal for the permanent tooth to erupt, however this birth is a natural process, not due to the breakage.

When to go to the dentist

It is recommended to consult the dentist whenever:

  • The tooth is cracked, broken or out of place;
  • Other changes appear in the tooth, such as dark or soft teeth, up to 7 days after the fall or accident;
  • There is difficulty chewing or speaking;
  • Signs of infection such as swelling in the mouth, severe pain, or fever appear.

In these cases, the dentist will evaluate the affected tooth site and diagnose the problem, initiating the appropriate treatment.

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