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When a Tooth Breaks or Chips, What Should You Do?

March 16, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — afton @ 8:54 pm
Diagram of a broken tooth in Concord

One moment you’re eating dinner or going for a walk, the next you’re clutching your mouth in pain or searching for pieces of your tooth. While a broken or chipped tooth can be very stressful, there are steps you can take to make the best of your situation if it occurs. According to an endodontist, here’s what you should do the moment you experience a chipped or broken tooth in Concord.

Locate Any Pieces of Your Tooth

Start by looking for the pieces of your tooth that may have broken off. While it’s likely to still be in your mouth, make sure it didn’t come out and fall on the ground. Do your best to stay calm as you don’t want to accidentally swallow any pieces. If the tooth has chipped or broke but is still attached, do not try and remove it yourself.

Tooth Preservation

After you’ve found the piece (or pieces) of your tooth, find a container to keep them preserved. Give it a brief rinse under water to remove any dirt or food debris. Do not remove any tissue that may still be attached. Submerge it in milk, saline solution, saltwater, or saliva as a last resort.

Stop Bleeding

You may start to notice some bleeding after your tooth breaks. Apply pressure to the area with a clean towel or gauze pad. This will help stop bleeding and prevent you from swallowing blood. Do not scrub the area as this may lead to irritation. If bleeding is excessive or does not stop after 10 minutes of pressure, call 911 or go to the emergency room before heading to a dental office.

Call a Professional

Once you’ve got your tooth preserved and bleeding under control, call an endodontist. Dentists often provide dedicated operatories for dental emergencies, but endodontists are even better to contact because they are experts in handling dental emergencies involving crack or broken teeth. They may even be able to get you seen the same day.

Cold Compress

Facial swelling can be common following an injury involving a broken tooth. By applying a cold compress to the area, you can constrict the blood vessels in your face and slow blood flow to your mouth. This minimizes inflammation, numbs the area, and stops bleeding.


Discomfort is common following a broken or chipped tooth, so taking painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can provide relief ahead of visiting a dental office. With that said, it’s best to avoid aspirin as it can cause a burning sensation if it comes into contact with your broken tooth.

By visiting an endodontist, you can get the most specialized care and attention for handling your dental emergency. If your tooth breaks or chips, don’t wait; call a professional immediately to restore your tooth.

About Afton Endodontics

Dr. Gell and Dr. Watts are highly experienced endodontists trained to treat a wide variety of dental emergencies. Their clinical expertise, advanced in-house technology, and fast turnaround time ensure you’ll be well-taken care of quickly and comfortably. To schedule an appointment, you can contact them through their website.

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