Uh Oh! I cracked my tooth!

Dr. Garrett here!  With the holiday season fast approaching we have many wonderful things to look forward to.  Meals with family, travelling, gifts, and sharing time with our loved ones are just a few of the great things about the holidays.  At my house, Thanksgiving is an absolute feast as my wife Allison has a chance to put her skills as a chef on display!  The last thing anyone wants to deal with during this time of year is a broken tooth.

So what should you do if you find yourself chomping down into a nice tasty turkey leg and suddenly hear a “crack” from one of your teeth?  First, call our office!!!  We have an on-call service that will direct you to one of us doctors so that we can help determine if you need emergency treatment or if you can wait until a later date.  If you are out of town or do not have access to a phone, things get a bit more tricky.  First you need to look into your mouth and determine how much of the tooth has broken.  A small chip that elicits no pain or discomfort can usually be dealt with at a later date.  If the tooth is constantly aching and has a very large piece missing or mobile, you may have cracked the tooth down into the root and require immediate help.  In addition, if there is blood coming out of the tooth the nerve may have become exposed and emergency treatment will be necessary.  If there will be an extended period of time before you can see a dentist, it will be very important for you to keep the broken tooth clean and out of further harm’s way.  Eat on the opposite side of your mouth or stick with foods that are softer and do not require you to chew them.  A salt water rinse after eating will help to keep the tooth clean.  Most drug stores carry paraffin wax that can be used to cover the tooth and save your tongue and cheek from sharp spots.

Hopefully, everyone will get through the holiday season with all their teeth intact.  If an emergency does arise, however, know that we are always here to help out you and your loved ones.

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