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:

  1. Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area surrounding the affected tooth.
  2. Apply a cold compress to reduce swelling.
  3. Contact a dentist immediately. Find a dentist with United Concordia’s dental provider search.

 

3 Common Tooth Fractures

  1. 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.
  2. Medium tooth fractures: Extend through the enamel and stop at the dentin (the softer tooth layer underneath the enamel). Can result in tooth sensitivity.
  3. Large tooth fractures: Extend through all three layers of the tooth to the pulp (tooth nerve). Noticeable pain and bleeding may occur.

 

Learn more:

How to temporarily fix a lost crown or filling

What to do if you’ve lost a tooth

How to ease the pain of a toothache