How to Handle a Broken/Chipped Tooth

Give Dr. Fried a Call at (203) 265-7118


It’s not unusual to have a tooth knocked out at some point in our lives. From biting down on something hard and being hit in the face to falling on hard surfaces and having cavities that weaken the tooth, there are many ways a tooth can be dislodged. Depending on how the tooth was knocked out it may be a painful experience and in some cases may even require emergency attention.

Cracked, fractured and broken teeth can’t be treated at home. These situations always call for the professional services of a dentist and if your dentist office is closed when the break happens, your next step is to visit the emergency room.

However, in the time it takes to get to the hospital or dental clinic there are some things you can do to help alleviate the pain and swelling that are associated with broken teeth.

  • Rinse your mouth with warm water
  • Apply pressure with gauze on any bleeding area (you can also use a tea bag)
  • Apply a cold pack to the cheek or lips over the broken tooth to relieve swelling and pain
  • Apply dental cement to the affected area
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever

It is important to remember that most dentist offices close around 5 pm and if your break occurs after 5 pm then you may have to wait. The emergency room at a hospital is a consideration but only if the pain and swelling are intense. In some cases you may have to wait until the following morning and that is why some dentists suggest using dental cement you can find at a pharmacy and taking Advil or Tylenol to help relieve the pain.

Use a cold pack to reduce the swelling and relieve the pain and during the night change the pack a few times to ensure it stays cool. Don’t eat anything during this time and avoid any liquids that are too hot or too cold. Monitor the bleeding and change gauze until the bleeding has stopped.

Always ask your dentist if they handle emergency calls or if they see clients after-hours. If they don’t they may be able to refer you to a clinic that does so you can seek treatment quickly.