Is a Broken Tooth a Dental Emergency?

Is a broken tooth a dental emergency? If you have fractured, cracked, chipped or broken off a chunk of tooth, it is an emergency and you should get to a dentist as soon as possible. No matter what caused it, if the tooth’s inner structure is visible or nerves are exposed, it is an issue that needs immediate treatment.

Broken tooth causes

Although teeth are incredibly strong, they are still susceptible to breakage under certain conditions. Teeth can break if a person bites into something that is very hard or if pressure is applied when a cavity or antiquated amalgam filling has weakened the tooth. A tooth can also break if it is subjected to trauma from fighting or falling.

Not all breaks cause pain. What does hurt, however, is when the root and nerves inside the tooth become exposed or damaged. Even if a tooth does not have a chunk broken off of it, one can still tell a nerve is exposed when consuming hot or cold food or beverages.

Types of breakages

Minor fracture or crack are the easiest types of breakages to treat, as they only affected the enamel. A chip is also a relatively simple fix. Cracked, split or partially broken teeth are much more serious breakages and will require more effort (and possibly more money) for a dentist to repair.

When to call a dentist

Visibly fractured, chipped, and broken teeth absolutely require an dental emergency call to a dentistry. A patient should make every effort to get to a dentist immediately; however, if the individual is not in pain and the inner structure of the broken tooth is not visible, they can wait a day before seeing a dentist.

Also, a damaged tooth may look okay but still cause nerve damage or have tiny fractures that expose the nerves. For anyone who is unsure, it is always better to play it safe than end up sorry. Until getting to a dentist, avoid drinking hot and cold liquids as well as eating hard foods (or any at all) wherever possible. Patients should also try to avoid clenching or grinding teeth.

Taking care of the tooth on the way to the dentist

Stay calm and be sure to find and save any fragments that separate from the whole tooth. Then, rinse the mouth with a solution consisting of salt water and a splash of hydrogen peroxide, which helps to cleanse the area. Apply dental wax to sharp areas, and use warm or cold compresses to reduce swelling and pain.

Ready to fix your broken tooth?

If someone has broken a tooth, it is a dental emergency. A person who is experiencing pain or can see the tooth’s inner structure should contact a dentist immediately to receive care before the condition worsens.

Request an appointment here: or call Bal Harbour Smiles at (305) 440-4229 for an appointment in our Surfside office.

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