How To Treat Pain Caused By A Broken Tooth?

A tooth can break due to some reasons, such as an accident or tooth decay. It can cause pain and swelling, which interfere with eating or drinking water. You may also experience a persistent throbbing sensation in your head or face. One way to relieve the pain is by taking an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen, which helps reduce inflammation and swelling in your mouth. 

Causes Of Broken Tooth

Teeth break for any number of reasons. Common causes include: chewing on hard objects, extreme temperatures (too hot or too cold), and teeth grinding. It’s essential to maintain a regular dental checkup so that you can catch these issues early before they become much more severe problems.

  • Pressure from teeth grinding – Frequent teeth grinding can cause cracked tooth enamel due to the repetitive stress and friction of chewing. People who have chronic bruxism don’t even know they’re doing it while asleep because many episodes happen at night. These cracks usually start small but become more significant over time if left untreated.
  • Chewing on hard foods – Some foods that are often overlooked as detrimental to teeth, such as hard candies and stale bread, can be just a couple of the causes for cracked teeth. To avoid this terrible mishap from happening, it is important to chew slowly and mindfully when eating food with pits throughout or anything else rough on tooth enamel like ice cubes or un-popped popcorn kernels.
  • Blows to the mouth (such as car accident, sporting injury, fall, or even a fistfight) – The mouth is a sensitive body area. A direct hit can cause chipped teeth, fractures, and other severe oral injuries such as loosened or knocked-out teeth that should be considered a dental emergency requiring prompt attention. These are often due to unexpected fall, sports incidents, or even car accidents which may result not only in possible dental damages but also facial ones if the head isn’t adequately secured during impact.
  • Sudden changes in temperature in the mouth – When tooth enamel is rapidly exposed to opposite extreme temperature, it can lead to hairline cracks. It occurs because the outer layer of your teeth is constantly expanding and contracting due to different temperature. When they do so too quickly, fractures may form and worsen or be made larger by preexisting surface damage.
  • Age – With age comes the wear and tear of tooth enamel that makes our teeth more vulnerable than when we were younger—this leads many people over 50 years old to experience frequent cracking due to weaknesses caused by this deterioration. To combat these issues, make sure your dentist records any sign of weakness during regular checkups; most common cases happen because neglected repairs have led us down.

How To Manage The Pain From Broken Or Chipped Tooth

When you’re not sure how to cope with a broken tooth, it can be challenging to know where to start. The pain may come and go depending on the severity of your injury– but if nerves or dentin are exposed, expect sensitivity. If there is a sharp edge, it could cause severe cuts in your tongue and cheek. Until you can see a dentist, there are ways to treat pain from an acute injury at home that will make life more tolerable in the meantime; these treatments should never replace seeing a doctor or dentist when possible for best results.

  • Use ice for swollen face – When your face starts to swell, it’s essential to take care of the area by applying ice. Cover a cold pack with a towel and place it on top of any areas where you’re experiencing swelling or bruising for 15 minutes at a time until everything goes back down again. If this is due to sports injury, expect some days without improvement as well as other symptoms like pain in the jawbone.
  • Use gauze to stop bleeding – If blood flows from the wound, place clean gauze inside the mouth and apply pressure. If it soaks through and continues to bleed, add another layer for more surface area on top of the bleeding point and press down firmly until there is no longer any flow coming out. Replace as necessary with fresh material to avoid infection and ensure optimal care of your wound. The bleeding should stop after a couple of minutes, but if it doesn’t, you can add more and keep applying pressure until there’s no blood seeping through any of the layers. 
  • What you eat – Broken teeth often mean eating and drinking can be a challenge, and there are some things to avoid that will help. Since it causes extra sensitivity, avoid solid foods, sugary or acidic food items like citrus fruits and sodas and any hot or cold drinks that are more painful on the damaged teeth. If you put any pressure on your damaged teeth, it may cause the breakage to worsen, so only chew with another side of the mouth. 

The best foods to eat are those that do not require chewing and can be swallowed with liquid. Stick with softer foods such as rice porridge, yogurt, mashed potatoes or pudding instead of crunchy vegetables.

  • Use oral medication to relieve pain – A quick, simple way for many people to effectively reduce mild-to-moderate toothaches is with over the counter medicines such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil). However, it’s crucial not to over-medicate and stay within recommended dosage on packaging. If pain persists, it can be a sign of something more severe and should be checked out by a dentist who may recommend stronger medications.

Final Thoughts

Broken teeth are not a typical dental emergency, but they can be painful and worrisome. While there are many different ways to manage the pain caused by a broken tooth, it’s always best to contact your dentist as soon as possible. Thus, if you suspect that your tooth is broken or cracked, the best thing to do is contact Peel Dental Studio for an appointment so we can help you determine what treatment is proper for you based on how severe your injury is. The sooner you visit the dentist, the easier it will be to fix a tooth issue before it causes more damage. Waiting longer can lead to expensive and extensive treatment options and an increased risk of breaking or losing teeth in some instances.

Avatar photo

Peel Dental Studio

Dr. Bailey formerly served on the Australian Dental Association as President, Vice President Treasurer and Country Councillor. He was on the Australian Dental Association Federal Council and has always been keen to give back to the profession that has been his life. He has tutored student dentists at the Oral Health Centre in Perth.