A broken tooth can lead to painful toothaches and discomfort. The pain is even worse if the inner pulp of the tooth is exposed to irritants in the person’s mouth, like acids, food particles and bacteria. The pulp houses the nerve, blood vessels and connective tissues of a tooth. When these areas become exposed to debris, the patient can feel excruciating pain.
The best thing a person can do when dealing with a broken tooth is to see a dentist immediately. However, there are a few home remedies that can be used to alleviate the pain until a visit can be made to the dentist.
Treating a broken tooth
As was mentioned earlier, the first thing a person should do when a tooth is damaged is to see a dentist immediately. Patients should try to collect any pieces of the broken tooth they can find, to show the dentist so they can make a better diagnosis.
It is best to avoid eating with the damaged tooth or biting down on it until it has been restored. Such actions can damage the tooth further and even affect the roots.
It is best to avoid certain things when dealing with a damaged tooth, including:
- Food and beverages of extreme temperatures; the dentin of a tooth is usually exposed when it is damaged, and hot or cold items can lead to pain and sensitivity
- Acidic foods and beverages, which can irritate the nerve
- Food and beverages that contain lots of sugar
Dealing with the pain that comes with a damaged tooth
There are several options that patients can choose from when it comes to alleviating the pain associated with a broken tooth. Some include:
- Over-the-counter painkillers
- Cleaning the damaged tooth with dental floss; this removes debris irritating the nerve
- Appling eugenol to the damaged tooth for pain relief; it is a natural anesthetic that has been proven to be effective when it comes to dealing with toothaches
- Using over-the-counter dental anesthetics
- Keeping the head elevated while sleeping
- Rinsing the mouth with saltwater a few times a day
How broken teeth are treated
It is up to the dentist to determine the best way to deal with a damaged tooth. If the damage leaves the pulp exposed, the tooth will probably require a root canal. Some cases require the removal of the tooth, while others can be treated by covering them with a crown.
During a root canal, the nerve and pulp of the tooth are removed from the tooth.
Preventing tooth fractures
Dealing with a damaged tooth can be quite an ordeal, and it is often better to prevent teeth from becoming damaged in the first place. Patients should avoid:
- Biting down on hard foods
- Chewing on objects like a pencil or pen
- Teeth grinding
- Playing sports without wearing a mouth guard
Dealing with a broken tooth? Set up an appointment with one of our dentists, and explore your options.