Even though teeth are remarkably strong, they can be susceptible to cracks, fractures, and breaks. Hard foods, ice, and candy typically cause chips, but can also cause teeth to break. Exposure of the dentin, the soft layer beneath a tooth’s enamel, often accompanies a broken tooth. Because the dentin protects the pulp (nerve), you may experience extreme discomfort when the affected tooth is exposed to temperature fluctuations or pressure. Livingston dentists, Drs. Gary and David Silverstrom, explain what to do when faced with a broken or chipped tooth. Common Causes of Broken Teeth A tooth fracture, chip, or break will happen when you least expect, and eating isn’t the only cause. The following list includes some common broken tooth scenarios: · Trauma to the face – Accidents happen unexpectedly so they could occur anywhere, any time. Wearing a mouthguard during sports could greatly reduce your risk for injury, but you probably don’t want to wear one all day every day Accidents happen and when they do, you may end up with a chipped or broken tooth. · Cavities and fractures – Structural damage weakens a tooth, leaving it more susceptible to breaks. In fact, a fractured tooth may break at the gum line, exposing the root and causing bleeding and pain. If you have a fractured tooth or deep cavitiy, please avoid this emergency situation by having a crown placed immediately. · Amalgam fillings – Because metal changes shape with pressure and temperature fluctuations, metal amalgam fillings are prone to shape-shifting. In some cases, the shifting can create enough pressure to fracture, break, or chip a tooth. Caring for Broken Teeth When faced with a broken tooth, go to the dentist immediately. Until your visit, you can manage pain and discomfort at home. To reduce swelling and relieve pain, apply a cold pack to outside of your face, near the damaged tooth. and take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as Tylenol. To stop bleeding, apply pressure to the area with gauze or wet tea bags until the bleeding stops.If bleeding does not stop in an hour, is intense, or your pain is unbearable, visit your local emergency room. Patients of of record can call Dr. Silverstrom’s main phone line to learn how to reach one of our dental staff members to learn how to reach one of our dental staff members after hours. Types of Breaks If you did not experience trauma to the face, Dr. Silverstrom may find that a cavity caused the tooth to break. If the damage is beyond repair, your dentist may have to remove the tooth. With vertical breaks and root splits, the break starts at the root. In this situation, the dentist usually extracts the tooth and suggests replacement with a bridge or dental implant. A root canal may be needed for other types of breaks. In serious breaks, for example, the break is deep enough to expose the nerve to bacteria and infection. It is also possible for your tooth to split vertically. In this case, a root canal is done and the dentist removes unsalvageable roots. Only a professional dental exam can uncover the cause of your tooth’s damage and provide accurate information for a solid diagnosis. Once diagnosed, your tooth’s issue can be treated, and you can finally rid yourself of the toothache that pains you. The Silverstrom Group Repairs Chipped Teeth! Call our Livingston dental office immediately for assistance with your emergency dental situation or chipped tooth. You can contact our office at (973) 797-9345. The Silverstrom Group is located at 580 S. Livingston Avenue, Livingston, NJ 07039, and we happily serve patients of all ages.