What to do with a chipped tooth? Although tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body, it isn’t indestructible. Biting down on something hard, falling, or receiving a blow to the face can cause a tooth to chip or break – particularly if it already has some decay. Fortunately, there are several ways we can fix a chipped tooth.
If your tooth is chipped, fractured or broken, we always consider it a dental emergency. Prompt action from an emergency dentist can prevent further damage or infection, which could potentially lead to the loss of the tooth.
Dental pain can be distressing and uncomfortable, so we strive to address urgent dental issues such as a chipped tooth on the same day. If you or your child has suffered a dental emergency, call our emergency dentist at West Ryde for fast and efficient action.
Don’t panic – calmly explain your dental emergency
When you call about your dental emergency, you may need to explain what has happened so that our team can gauge the severity of the situation and best prepare for your appointment. Meanwhile, here are some tips on what to do with a chipped tooth while you wait to see the emergency dentist.
How to care for a chipped tooth at home?
While we don’t advocate a home fix for a broken or chipped tooth, you can do a few things to protect your tooth and mouth.
After you have broken or chipped a tooth
If you break or chip a tooth, it’s best to rinse your mouth right away with warm water to clean it. Apply pressure to the affected tooth with a piece of clean gauze to stop bleeding, and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. If you can find the broken part of the tooth, wrap it in a clean damp cloth and bring it to the dental clinic.
If you lose a tooth
It is always an urgent dental emergency if a tooth has dislodged or popped out of the mouth. It’s vital to visit a dentist within 30 minutes of the accident, to stand any chance of saving the tooth.
If the tooth has come out of the mouth, take hold of it by the crown using a clean piece of gauze, and try to place it back in the socket.
If it looks dirty, carefully rinse it under running water, taking care not to handle the root. If you can’t get it back into the socket, place the tooth in a small container of milk and head straight to the dentist or the emergency dental centre at your local hospital – whichever is quicker.
Chipped tooth pain relief
Having rinsed your mouth clean, you can take over-the-counter painkillers such as Paracetamol or Aspirin to relieve the pain or Ibuprofen to ease the swelling.
You can also try applying clove oil to numb the area.
How to protect your mouth until you see the dentist?
If your tooth is slightly chipped and has a jagged edge, try applying a piece of sugar-free chewing gum or dental wax over the edge to prevent it from cutting your tongue or lips. Avoid chewing on that side of the mouth, and try gently flossing around the area to reduce pressure and irritation.
You never know when an accident may happen, so it’s good to know what to do with a chipped or broken tooth. The treatment you require will depend on the extent of the damage and could include bonding, root canal treatment and a crown, or tooth extraction and a dental implant.
My Local Dentists West Ryde is here for you if you need to see a dentist for a chipped tooth or other dental emergency. Give us a call on (02) 9809 7000 or use our online booking service.
Healthline – What’s the hardest substance in the body?
American Association of Endodontists – Knocked-out teeth