A broken or chipped tooth can be caused by a number of things. Perhaps you suffered severe trauma to the tooth, or maybe you bit down on something hard that caused it to chip. It's also not uncommon for teeth with large fillings to be prone to cracking and breaking. By being aware of both what to do and what not to do when you break a tooth, you can get the treatment you need and avoid further complications.
DO Rinse and Apply Pressure to Stop Bleeding
The first thing you'll want to do once you discover you've broken a tooth is to rinse your mouth out with warm water, especially if the break has been caused by trauma (such as a fall or being hit in the mouth with something). Rinsing the mouth will help to remove any bacteria or debris that could otherwise make you prone to infection. If you're bleeding, you'll also want to take a piece of medical gauze and press it to the broken area of your tooth to stop the bleeding.
DON'T Delay Seeing a Dentist
Depending on the time of day or even the day of the week when this occurs, you may not be immediately able to see your regular dentist for broken tooth repair. However, it is recommended that you see a dentist right away in the event of a broken tooth, so you might consider finding an emergency dentist in your area if the incident occurs after hours. This way, you can reduce your risk of developing an infection and receive the care you need as soon as possible.
DO Consider Dental Cement for a Temporary Solution
If there's absolutely no way for you to see a dentist within the first couple of hours after you experience a broken tooth, you might also want to consider going to your local drug store and picking up some dental cement, which can be used as a temporary solution to protect the broken area of the tooth until you see a dentist. Understand, however, that dental cement is not meant to be a substitute for seeing a dentist.
DON'T Try to Ignore the Pain
Some people experience pain with a broken tooth, and some don't. It all depends on where the break occurs. If you experience any pain, however, consider taking an aspirin or other pain killer in addition to wrapping a cold compress in a towel and placing it on the side of your mouth that hurts. This can also help to reduce any swelling or inflammation associated with the injury.