Many people know the symptoms of a cavity and know what to look for before seeing a dentist, but a cavity may not cause any pain or other symptoms until it works its way through the surface of your tooth. When you go to bite down on dinner, you might find that your tooth breaks in half or that a piece literally falls out of your mouth. A broken tooth can also occur because of an injury to your face like hitting the steering wheel during a car accident or having someone hit you in the face with a basketball during a pick up game. You can care for your broken tooth at home before getting to a dentist.

Rinse Regularly

As soon as you get home, rinse out your mouth with warm water. Avoid using hot or cold water because this can cause you more pain. Rinsing removes any bacteria from your mouth and eliminates any debris around the tooth. If you can handle it, consider rinsing with warm saltwater. The salt helps kill any bacteria that can increase your pain.

Cover the Tooth

Though you’ll want to cover your tooth, you have a few different options. One of the best remedies is a simple piece of gauze. Sterile gauze, which you can get at the drugstore, protects the tooth while you eat and drink. You may need to fold the gauze over a few times before placing it in your mouth. Try to cover as much of the broken tooth as possible with the gauze. You can also use temporary dental cement, which is also available at drugstores. Dental cement often comes in a kit that includes a liquid pain reliever. You apply a small amount of the liquid to the tooth and gums before covering with the cement.

Use Over the Counter Treatments

Before seeing a dentist Elk Grove Village IL patients will find it helpful to use some over the counter treatments too. Numbing creams and liquids are safe to use on broken teeth, and you can use a cotton swab to coat the tooth and gums and to get some of the liquid inside the tooth. Over the counter painkillers will reduce any inflammation around the broken tooth and help you cope with pain too. These methods will keep that tooth safe until you can make an appointment with your dentist.