Tooth cracks are a widespread clinical finding. An article published on PubMed Central states that the rate of complete fracture incidents is five teeth per hundred adults per year. According to another study, North Carolina general dentists have mentioned that 44% of crown placement they have performed was supposed to help fracture prevention.
Tooth cracking is mostly diagnosed in untreated molar teeth with no restoration. However, an unfortunate accident can cause slight to severe injury resulting in chipped or dislocated teeth. Despite being the most sturdy substance, tooth enamel also sometimes fails to protect the nervous chamber inside from a hard bite or a strong blow on the mouth.
If you end up with a loose tooth in your hand or the enamel chipped off, the natural instinct is to get frightened. Can you repair the tooth enamel? Yes, and there are many treatment options, varying from simple to complex to fix a broken tooth.
Before you run off to the dentist, which you should, some first-aid home remedies can help minimize the pain and bleeding.
So how to fix a cracked tooth naturally?
Broken vs. chipped tooth
A broken tooth is a more acute problem than a slight chip or cracks in the tooth’s enamel. If you look at the tooth anatomy, you will see our teeth’ exterior is protected by a lifeless substance called enamel, the hardest tissue of the human body. Enamel protects the innermost pulpy layer called dentin, containing all the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues.
A broken tooth triggers pain because when a tooth is knocked off its place or wholly uprooted, it exposes the dental pulp to open air. As suggested by Harvard Medical School, if you have lost a tooth, immediately look for it and place it back in the socket. A quick visit to the dentist may still fix the damage with proper medical procedures.
When the tooth’s outer enamel layer decays or breaks off partly, the condition is known as a chipped tooth. There is no need to panic for minor chipping because most patients don’t feel any pain unless it’s significantly large and exposes the dentin’s inner nerve endings.
In that case, the chipped tooth can cause pain to some extent or show extra sensitivity to particularly hot or cold food items. A chipped tooth is more of a cosmetic dental problem, and depending on the severity and degree of the chip, there are various treatment options like a filling or a crown or root canal to fix deeper chips.
Common causes of a broken and chipped tooth
- Eating or biting any hard substances like ice cubes, bones, or hard candies may accidentally break or chip a tooth.
- Playing contact sports, especially unprotected or without any mouthguard, can cause damage.
- If left untreated, cavities make your teeth weak and brittle, and extremely prone to chipping or breakage.
- Facial trauma is another reason, as a consequence of an accident, falling, or being hit on the mouth.
- Some people have a habit of grinding teeth involuntarily, in sleep, or even awake. Bruxism is also one of the major reasons behind chipped or cracked teeth.
- If you have a dental amalgam filling for cavities for a long time, chances are that your teeth’ original structure under the filling may become brittle eventually.
- Last but certainly not least, the same old oral hygiene issue. You can’t take dental hygiene matters lightly, especially if you have a condition of decaying enamel.
How to fix naturally at home
You may follow some initial tooth care measures and DIY remedies at home to stop the bleeding and temporarily cover the wound. But soon after, you should pay a visit to the dentist to avoid any further infection.
- The very first step is to rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water, preferably saltwater.
- Put an icepack on your cheek if you notice any irritation or swelling in the affected area.
- According to ADA’s dental emergency solutions, a knocked-off adult tooth should be kept moist until you reach the dentist’s office. If you can’t correctly locate it back in the socket, tuck it in between your cheek and gum, or at least dip the tooth in milk or a tooth preservation product carefully without touching the root.
- An OTC anti-inflammatory painkiller such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or paracetamol can help reducing pain. Another effective way to manage the pain, for the time being, is to soak a cotton ball in clove oil and swipe it along the gum line.
- If the broken tooth has left open a sharp or jagged edge, you can try out some DIY fixes to shield your tongue and inner parts of your mouth from tearing up. Use a piece of dental wax, sugar-free chewing gum, a wet tea bag or dental cement as a temporary filling.
- To stop the bleeding, you have to apply gentle pressure on the area. Use a piece of gauze for that purpose.
- It’s better to avoid chewing in this situation. But if you must, go with soft foods.
Modern dentistry has treatments to fix any condition almost as good as new, whether it’s negligible chipping off in the enamel or a big crack or break. It can be wrapped up in one single sitting or can take up to several visits to the dentist, followed by a costly procedure.
- Tooth polishing
- Dental filling or bonding
- Crown placement or dental cap
- Porcelain veneer
- Filling with root canal therapy
- Dental Onlays
- Tooth reattachment
- Ceramic filling
- Tooth extraction
To prevent any broken or chipped tooth-related mishaps, keep these things in mind:
- Floss regularly because any plaque deposit can put pressure on the chipped teeth while chewing.
- Avoid biting on hard materials like ice, fingernails, and opening bottle caps with your teeth.
- Wear a mouthguard if you are playing sports or if you have a habit of night-grinding
- Limit the intake of sugar content, citrus fruits, and acidic beverages like soda.
We hope this article has broadly cataloged all the common causes and the emergency cures to deal with a broken tooth on your own. You are aware of how to fix a chipped tooth at home with a few simple DIYs. As an additional safety measure, make sure you are taking sufficient vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, K, calcium, magnesium, etc.
We would suggest getting any teeth grinding or acid reflux issues checked up in advance. In fact, why don’t you drop in at Laguna Vista Dental to consult with our dental professionals? We strive to make your visit as delightful as possible and meet the unique needs of individual patients. Please request an appointment today with our Elk Grove Office for any emergency dental care.