In a study conducted in 2004, researchers studied the strength of our teeth by bonding several pieces of third molars and etching them with phosphoric acid. After sectioning the pieces into 0.7mm thick slabs, each tooth’s tension was tested through an Instron testing machine. Our teeth can withstand up to 5,600 pounds of pressure per square inch. But of course, that depends on which teeth and the circumstances they may face.
However, despite the high pressure our teeth can withstand, there are instances wherein they may chip, crack, or break. Often caused by many factors, the leading causes of tooth chipping include excessive wear and tear, unseen cavities, and constant use other than chewing and eating food. But in case your tooth chips, what do you do? Here are some first aid solutions you can try while waiting for professional dental help.
Gargle with Salt Water
When you chip your tooth, it means that you have chipped the enamel surface. Enamel is the hardest surface that protects our teeth and is often the first thing that gets damaged when exposed to extreme pressure or by chipping or cracking. To stop the pain, rinse your mouth with warm salt water to make the salty solution wash over the injured area.
Apply Pressure to the Area
When you chip your tooth, the enamel may get cracked. Instead of freaking out, you can press a gauze pad or a clean piece of cloth over the area until the bleeding stops. The blood serves as a natural clotting agent, so you don’t need to apply a commercial clotting agent to the damaged area.
Take Painkillers if Needed
If you have hurt your tooth and it is causing you pain, do not hesitate to take a painkiller. If you have dental insurance, it would be ideal to seek dental help right away and have it treated. However, you can take an over-the-counter painkiller if your chipped tooth is not due to a cavity and you feel safe doing so.
Avoid Hot and Cold Foods
As tempting as eating your favorite foods to soothe your pain, you need to avoid eating hot and cold food and drink. Aside from teeth sensitivity, eating hard foods and drinks will cause more damage to your chipped tooth since it will expand your tooth and make it crack even more. Likewise, eating hot foods and drinks will cause the swelling of your chipped tooth, further worsening your tooth pain.
Apply Cold Compress
If you have chipped your tooth, you can also apply a cold compress over the affected area to ease the pain and swelling. Using ice to the site may not be as effective as a warm compress, but it will still make your tooth feel better.
However, if you are using a cold compress, make sure that you are not using ice. Ice will cause further damage to your chipped tooth due to the exothermic reaction. Instead, use a cold compress filled with water and keep it in the freezer.
In an ideal world, chipped teeth should never happen to anyone. But it does happen, and when it does, you must know how to properly treat it until you find the right dentist to treat it. Remember, you can’t repair a cracked tooth, so you have to find the right solution right away.
Ivy Rose DDS offers top-notch dental services in Mansfield. Regarded as the best dentist in Mansfield, our goal is to help clients get back their smiles by repairing, restoring, or replacing their teeth based on their needs and preferences. If you’re looking for a cosmetic dentist near you, book an appointment through our website today.