Last Updated on September 9, 2017 by Marie Bautista
Pain in your jaw and around your tooth can indicate a cavity that needs filled. If you’re like most people, you probably put off making an appointment because you have a fear of the dentist or you do not have dental insurance. Putting off the repair of a cavity can lead to that cavity growing and spreading to other parts of your tooth as well as to neighboring teeth. When you bite down on something hard, the weakened tooth can creak or completely break. You will need to follow some steps to protect your tooth and mouth until you can see a dentist.
Depending on the way the tooth breaks, you may experience some light bleeding or some more serious bleeding. Many people do not experience any bleeding at all and only know the tooth broke because of the way it feels. If your tooth or gums bleed, you’ll want to use a small amount of mouthwash. This rinses out the blood in your mouth and kills any bacteria. You can then cover the tooth with a cotton ball or a small piece of gauze and bite down to hold it in place until the bleeding stops.
You’ll likely feel some pressure and some pain immediately after the tooth breaks, which can continue for several hours or more. The broken tooth may cause your gums or jaw to swell too, which puts more pressure on the tooth and causes more pain. Using a cold pack or an ice pack directly on your mouth will reduce the swelling and limit some of the pressure. You can use a dental gel or liquid directly on the tooth and gums to reduce the pain that you feel and take an over the counter anti-inflammatory too.
Protect the Tooth
Until making an appointment with a dentist Charlotte NC broken tooth sufferers will need to protect the tooth. Most pharmacies and grocery stores sell temporary dental cement kits that include an applicator and a small vial of dental cement. You roll the cement between your fingers to form a small ball, use the applicator to place it on the tooth and bite down to make it fit around your tooth. The cement will protect your tooth and can last for up to a week. Following these steps reduces your risk of infection until a dentist can fix your broken tooth.