Caring For a Cracked Tooth
Broken Teeth Causes, Types and Temporary Remedies
Teeth may fracture or break for a number of reasons, including:
- Accident or injury
- Tooth decay
- Chewing on hard foods (such as ice or candy)
- Grinding your teeth
- Loss of stability due to large fillings or wear
A fractured or cracked tooth may or may not hurt, depending on nerve exposure. Pain or not, here is how to take care of your broken tooth until you can see a dentist.
Did You Know?
17% of U.S. adults age 18-64 report having broken or missing teeth?
- Oral Health Status and Access to Oral Health Care for U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2008
How to care for a broken tooth:
- Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area surrounding the affected tooth.
- Apply a cold compress to reduce swelling.
Contact a dentist immediately. Find a dentist with United Concordia’s dental provider search.
3 Common Tooth Fractures
- Small tooth fractures: Involve the enamel (the hard outer shell of the tooth) only and may not be visible to the human eye—usually a cosmetic issue.
- Medium tooth fractures: Extend through the enamel and stop at the dentin (the softer tooth layer underneath the enamel). Can result in tooth sensitivity.
- Large tooth fractures: Extend through all three layers of the tooth to the pulp (tooth nerve). Noticeable pain and bleeding may occur.