Prevent Broken Teeth
Many patients won’t break a tooth during their lifetime. However, many patients will have this type of dental emergency. A cracked or broken tooth can lead to infection, decay and even the loss of a tooth if you don’t seek dental care right away. If you break a tooth, it can also be a sign of internal tooth decay that grew too large. We can help you know what to do at home if you break a tooth and what we can do to save your tooth. Prevent broken teeth with our help and fix your smile through restorative dentistry if you have already cracked or broken a tooth.
Habits that Weaken Teeth
Did you know that your tooth enamel is perhaps the strongest tissue in your body? However, inside each tooth is a soft, pulpy center full of nerves and blood vessels that nourish your tooth and make it strong. Even the strongest materials can weaken over time if they are not properly taken care of, and your teeth are no exception. Everyday, your teeth have the potential to weaken from the foods and drinks you consume. If you take a close look at your teeth, you may notice a sticky, clear film on them. This film is plaque, and it is made when the sugars in your food mix with bacteria in your mouth.
That film will stick to your teeth like glue and because plaque is acidic, that film will also work to erode and weaken your teeth. The American Dental Association recommends brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day, if not after every meal. Not enough people do this though, as studies show that many Americans will only brush their teeth once during the day, if at all. Millions don’t even floss or can’t remember the last time they brushed their teeth. Studies also show that only about 65% of people see the the dentist each year as well. It’s no wonder that tooth decay is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases plaguing children and adults! Tooth decay easily leads to broken teeth, cracks, chips and tooth loss.
Not everyone will have a dental emergency during their lifetime. However, many people will, and you want to seek help for these dental emergencies right away if you want to keep your tooth. People who wait to get help generally end up losing their tooth, when that doesn’t have to happen. Even a toothache is considered a dental emergency. A toothache is a sign of severe tooth decay in many cases. This happens if you don’t always brush or floss your teeth to remove plaque from your tooth surface. That allows tooth erosion to happen, and plaque can get inside the tooth, decaying it. This will result in a toothache. However, tooth sensitivity and pain can also simply happen because of changing weather or because you are drinking too hot or too cold of drinks. We can help you know the cause so we can fix it.
Here’s what you need to know about these dental emergencies such as broken teeth:
- Broken Teeth – You need to take action immediately with a broken tooth so you don’t lose it. Rinse the area with warm water and put a cold compress over the facial area to reduce swelling. Call our office immediately and recover any broken tooth fragments for us. Broken teeth will generally lead to lost teeth if you don’t have us look at it and restore it in time before the blood vessels and nerves of the tooth are damaged.
- Cracked Teeth – A crack is also no joke. Cracks in teeth generally go below the gumline. If this is the case, an infection can start where your nerves and blood vessels lie, and you could lose a tooth.
- Chipped Tooth – A chip isn’t quite as bad as broken teeth or a cracked tooth. Chips can be fixed through restorative dentistry. If you chip off a filling, you should get it filled again so tooth decay doesn’t happen inside your tooth.
- Knocked-Out Tooth – Recover the tooth and hold it only by the crown so you don’t damage the root nerves. Rinse, but do not clean or handle it more than necessary. Either reinsert it into your socket and hold it in place with gauze or carry it to our office in a cup containing milk or water. Knocked-out teeth may need to be replaced.
Prevent Broken Teeth
The best way to prevent broken teeth is to do more for your oral hygiene routine and avoid hard foods and bad oral health habits. You should be brushing and flossing at least twice a day, per the ADA recommendation. Limit the amount of carbonated drinks you drink, as carbonic acid in carbonation erodes your tooth enamel. Avoid citrus drinks and limit citrus fruits as well, which contain citric acid. When you floss, make sure you are using the floss the also scrape the surface of each tooth, removing stuck-on plaque. The more you reduce your risk for tooth decay, the less of a chance you have for broken teeth.
You should also visit the dentist at least twice a year if your oral health is in good shape and even more often if you already have problems with tooth decay and gum disease. Only a dentist can find cracks and chips that are hidden as well as tooth decay. Only a dentist can repair broken teeth in time for you to not lose a tooth. However, broken teeth generally cause a lot of pain immediately, so you’ll want to seek dental help anyways. As we mentioned, a cracked tooth is also something you don’t want to wait on, as it can be just as bad as broken teeth. When you have broken teeth or any other dental emergency, call Dr. Ania’s office right away at (303) 872-9940 and we’ll do all that we can to restore your smile!