An injury that results in a cracked tooth can be very traumatic, whether you are young or old. Knowing how to handle the situation before it occurs can help you keep calm during the minutes following the injury. Not every cracked tooth needs to be seen by a dentist immediately, but there are certain steps that everyone needs to take in order to ensure a sterile environment and minimal amount of pain before being able to be seen by a professional.
Immediate Steps for a Cracked Tooth
- Rinse your mouth – The first step is to rinse your mouth with warm water. This gives you a chance to eliminate any particles that are left in the mouth, decreasing the risk of a choking hazard. After rinsing your mouth, it should be easier to assess the situation, allowing you to determine the extent of emergency that you are dealing with at the moment.
- Stop the bleeding – If there is still bleeding after you thoroughly rinse your mouth, apply mild pressure with sterile gauze to the area to alleviate the bleeding. If you are unable to control the bleeding after 10 minutes, call the dentist right away.
- Apply ice- If there is any swelling, bruising or pain, you can apply an ice pack or cold compress to the outside of the mouth to help reduce the swelling and pain.
- Over the counter pain medications – If you have any pain with a cracked tooth, you can take over-the-counter ibuprofen to minimize the pain and to help bring the swelling down.
After you take these steps, you should always call our office to determine your next step. If you are in extreme pain, you will likely need to be seen on an emergency basis, as this type of crack typically involves the nerve roots. If you are not in excruciating pain, you might be able to wait until normal business hours to be seen. When you are seen, make sure to bring along any of the tooth particles that you may have been able to save.
During the time between your appointment and the tooth being cracked, be very careful about what you eat. Most times, with a cracked tooth, you will not feel pain when you bite down, rather you will feel it when you release your bite. If you find that you are in pain while breathing or drinking/eating anything cold, you can bite down on sterile gauze to minimize the pain until you are seen by a dentist. If you or a loved one ever experience a cracked tooth call our office right away and we can get you taken care of.