If you were playing with your kids outside and were hit in the face with a ball, you may have cracked a tooth. If so, use the following three "P's" for naturally taking care of the tooth until you can have it seen by a dentist.
Protect the Tooth
Since the protective layer of your tooth has been broken, the gap in the enamel leaves your tooth's pulp and nerves exposed to food, air, and germs. Also, any type of pressure placed on the tooth while biting down could make the crack larger, making the damage worse.
Until you can have it fixed, there are two ways to protect it. First, you can cover the crack with a thin layer of dental wax. The wax serves to temporarily fill in the crack and keep foreign substances away from the tender pulp.
Second, avoid eating anything on the side of your mouth where the cracked tooth is located. Even if you have dental wax covering the crack, the pressure and slight grinding caused while chewing could dislodge the wax and allow food inside, along with bacteria that could lead to infection.
Because the interior tissues of your tooth have been exposed by the crack, they are left vulnerable to bacterial invasion. If your tooth becomes infected, you could develop an abscess that could potentially lead to a body-wide infection.
Every couple of hours, and after you consume any liquids or food, gently brush your teeth. Then, rinse with a small amount of salt water, concentrating on the area around the tooth. The salt will thoroughly cleanse away any germs and residual food from the inside of the crack as well as the surrounding surfaces.
If the crack in your tooth is severe enough, the nerves may have been exposed. These exposed nerves could be irritated by food or even air, causing you sharp pain every time you take a breath.
One way to help numb the nerves is to rub peppermint oil on the tooth. The oil can ease the pain to at least a tolerable level. If you also use the dental wax, apply the oil before placing the wax on your tooth to seal in the oil, making it last longer.
While the above tips can help you treat your cracked tooth at home, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to have it treated. However, if you start experiencing bleeding, severe pain, or other worrisome symptoms, contact an emergency dentist, like those represented at http://northwestdental.com/, who can examine your tooth right away and discuss your options for fixing it.