If your tooth broke while you were flossing, then it could be a sign of decay or something is weakening your tooth that a simple flossing can break it apart. What you must do is to visit your dentist as soon as possible.
A broken tooth is the result of your tooth enamel breaking. Enamel is the hard shell that insulates or protects your tooth.
Breaks or chips can be caused by a lot of factors, such as too many carbohydrates, carbonated drinks, medications and other things that affect the quality of enamel.
Whatever the reason is you should see your dentist right away.
If you leave it untreated, it could lead to serious dental complications.
When you see your dentist ASAP, he/she can figure out the cause of the break. Does a cavity cause it? Or is it the tooth nerve that has caused damage? If it’s the latter, you may need to undergo a root canal treatment.
While waiting for your appointment with your dentist, you should not panic. Instead, rinse it with warm water and cover the affected tooth with temporary dental cement. If it’s painful, you may take an OTC pain reliever.
What your dentist will do?
Your dentist will assess your broken tooth. If it’s a minor crack, it may not need treatment. Your dentist may simply have to polish and smooth out rough spots.
If it involves the whole tooth, your dentist will apply a filling material. You may also need a dental crown. It will help in preventing the problem from getting worse. However, if the pulp is substantially damaged, a root canal may be necessary.
Now, if it’s a serious break that goes deep enough resulting in nerve exposure, a root canal treatment should be done as soon as possible. Then, a dental crown is needed to restore the proper function of your tooth so you can still eat and chew properly.
If there’s decay, your dentist will evaluate your condition first before recommending the ideal way to restore your tooth. Now, if the decay is extensive that it has gone to the bone, it may have to be removed.
How to prevent your tooth from breaking?
Most of the time, a broken tooth is the result of dental trauma, like falls or accidents or chewing on hard foods. Thus, it’s highly recommended that you use a mouth guard. And don’t chew on hard objects.
It’s also an integral that you visit your dentist regularly. If you have a 10-year old filling, it can break or chip, thereby, exposing the remaining structure of your tooth. When you visit your dentist regularly, he/she can identify small cracks that can be restored or fixed immediately before they become a big problem down the road.
You should also keep your teeth strong by avoiding bad habits of drinking soda, eating sugary foods, chewing your fingernails, etc. Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and floss regularly.
Caution and common sense can avoid a broken tooth. If you have a broken tooth, Nicholas, S. St George, DDS is here to help.