If you have sustained a fractured tooth, the first thing you probably thought of is how it will affect your appearance. After all, a rough or jagged tooth can detract from an otherwise beautiful smile. However, did you know that even a mildly chipped or fractured tooth can compromise your tooth structure and in turn, your oral health? If you have a broken tooth in Denver, our doctors at Metropolitan Dental Care can help.
Fractures Weaken Teeth
Healthy teeth are designed to withstand normal wear and tear. Anytime the structure is compromised, the tooth becomes weaker. This is also true for teeth with restorations. If you have a dental filling, crown, or other restoration in place, it makes the tooth more vulnerable to decay and damage.
What Causes Fractures?
There are several different reasons why a tooth may become broken. Trauma and decay are two common culprits. But what about the lesser known causes of fractured teeth? The way your bite fits together plays a significant role in your overall oral health. When you close down, your upper and lower teeth should feel balanced, resting comfortably together. If there is more pressure on a specific area of your bite, it can place excess stress on the teeth. This may ultimately lead to bruxism (teeth grinding). If left untreated, bruxism can cause dental damage, including broken teeth.
What to Do If You Have a Broken Tooth
If you have a broken tooth in Denver, the first thing you should do is call our office for further instruction. The severity of the fracture will determine whether or not is it considered an emergency. Superficial cracks and chips are a nuisance but can typically be addressed easily. If the fracture extends deep into the tooth structure, we may need to discuss root canal therapy or even an extraction. In many cases, however, we can restore a broken tooth using dental bonding, a dental crown, or other restorative treatments.
After you call us, place the broken tooth fragment in a plastic bag or container. Soak it in saline or milk if possible until you can get to our office. In the meantime, gently rinse your mouth with warm saltwater and take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as naproxen or ibuprofen. If the broken tooth has left a rough or jagged area behind, you can cover it with sugarless gum or purchase orthodontic wax from the drugstore. This will keep the area from irritating your soft tissues.
How to Prevent Broken Teeth
It may not be possible to avert every dental mishap, but a few preventative steps can help you avoid broken teeth. For example:
- Attend all scheduled dental cleanings and examinations
- Brush at least two times per day
- Floss at least once per day
- Avoid chewing on pens, pencils, your fingernails, and other hard objects
- Wear a sports guard if you are involved in athletics
- Ask your doctor to check your bite
- Wear a night guard if you grind your teeth
Contact Us to Learn More
If you have a broken tooth in Denver, don’t wait until the situation worsens. Taking care of the situation as soon as possible can ensure you maintain optimal oral health. Schedule an appointment with one of our Denver dentists to repair your fractured tooth. We also provide comprehensive dental services to Parker, Highlands Ranch, and Centennial. Call us at 303-534-2626 or contact us online anytime.