After one bite, you knew that there was something wrong. You heard a disconcerting “crunch” sound inside your mouth. Then you felt something jagged and sharp when you ran your tongue over your teeth.
A chipped tooth happens all the time and isn’t the worst dental emergency. But among the various teeth problems, it’s one of the most alarming. You might not even be aware that it happened until you see your awful smile in front of a mirror.
Unless the damage is very minor, no home remedies can fix it without seeing a dentist, who can recommend several treatment options. The best thing you can do is take steps to protect your tooth and mouth in the interim.
Before going to the dentist, here are some things you should be doing.
Rinse Your Mouth
After chipping or breaking a tooth, the first thing to do is flush the inside of your mouth with warm water. This helps wash away any blood, food particles, or dirt. Keeping the area clean is a must to protect against infection.
Rinsing also ejects the tooth part that broke off to prevent you from swallowing it. You can avoid damaging your other teeth if you accidentally bite down on the broken tooth piece.
Locate and Preserve the Chipped Tooth Fragment
Keep on the lookout for the part that broke off after rinsing your mouth. Your emergency dentist may be able to save and reattach the fragment back onto your tooth.
When you find it, give it a quick rinse and submerge it in a container with milk. Milk can keep it moist, and the calcium will help preserve it. If you don’t have milk, use a saline solution instead.
Stop Any Bleeding
Did you chip your tooth due to playing contact sports, falling, or other accidents? Then there’s a good chance that the mouth trauma has caused bleeding in some areas.
Stop the bleeding by applying pressure to the area with a gauze or clean cloth. Don’t rub the site since that might cause irritation and increase the bleeding. Just keep a steady pressure.
If there’s too much bleeding, go to the emergency room immediately or call 911. Your injuries might need more attention than the chipped tooth.
Apply a Cold Compress
A cold compress helps in several ways. The cold constricts the blood vessels to suppress bleeding and inflammation. It also helps reduce swelling and alleviate pain.
Apply a cold compress every few minutes to the outside area to control the symptoms you might experience after chipping a tooth.
Go to a Local Pharmacy
If you can’t see your dentist right away, it’s best to visit your local drugstore. Depending on the extent of the injury, you may be in a lot of pain. If that’s the case, you can take some over-the-counter pain relievers but take caution not to exceed the recommended dosage.
Many pharmacies also carry kits that contain dental wax. You can apply the wax over the jagged surface of the tooth to prevent it from cutting your tongue and other injuries.
See Your Dentist
Even something minor like a chipped tooth can develop into more significant issues down the road. Visit your dentist as soon as possible so they can work on a fix immediately. They might recommend certain types of veneers, bonding, or other treatment options.
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