A chipped tooth usually results from a traumatic experience, according to Colgate.com. Trauma can include biting down on a hard object or receiving a blow to the face. A common incident for children is falling from a bike or a curb while playing outside. Deep cavities that have compromised the strength of a tooth also can cause that tooth to chip. If your tooth does chip, you can experience pain if the nerves in the pulp (the part of the tooth containing the nerves and blood vessels) are exposed to the elements, such as hot or cold temperatures.
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Things you need
- Warm water
- Temporary dental cement or soft wax
- Plain emery board
- Cold compress
- Over-the-counter pain reliever (non-aspirin)
Save the piece or pieces of your chipped tooth. If the break was pretty clear-cut, a dentist might be able to temporarily cement the tooth back together.
Rinse your mouth with warm water, and rinse any saved tooth fragments under running water. If the chipped tooth continues to bleed, place a piece of gauze on the wounded area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding subsides. Apply gentle pressure to the area of gum above the tooth for an upper tooth or to the area of gum below the tooth for a lower tooth, according to Best-home-remedies.com.
Cover the chipped part of the tooth with soft wax or temporary dental cement, which is available in pharmacies, according to WorlDental.org. This protects the nerves from pain caused by hot or cold food or drink while also keeping the edge of the chipped tooth from cutting your gum or tongue. If the jagged edge of the tooth is still bothersome, use a plain emery board, which is available in drugstores, to file it with a couple of strokes in front of a mirror, according to "The Doctors Book of Home Remedies II" by Sid Kirchheimer.
Place a cold compress on the part of your cheek or lip covering the chipped tooth to decrease swelling and discomfort. Also, take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
Chew on the opposite side of the mouth from the chipped tooth. This is necessary to keep from irritating the wounded area or potentially causing an infection that can lead to further dental problems or loss of the tooth. In addition, avoid really hot or really cold food.
Tips and warnings
- After chipping the tooth, eat only soft foods until you can see a dentist. This can prevent further damage to the tooth.
- When choosing an over-the-counter pain reliever, avoid aspirin. Aspirin can interfere with the efforts of the blood around the tooth to coagulate, which is part of the healing process.
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