A Bag Of Popcorn And A Broken Tooth

  • August 15, 2016


You are at the opening game of the football season to see your son suit up on the field and to support your daughter on the cheerleading squad.

It’s been an exciting game so far. The teams have traded the lead four times already. The third quarter just finished … and you could go for some popcorn.

You hurry back to your seat. You only missed a play or two, but nothing exciting happened on those plays according to the people seated near you.

On the first play after you sit down, the quarterback launches a pass toward the end zone. The receiver has a step on the defensive back. You absent-mindedly toss a handful of popcorn in your mouth and stand up to get a better view when …


So much for the game, and so much for enjoying a salty treat. You bit into an unpopped kernel, and it hurt. That’s not all that happened.

You spit the kernel into a napkin, but that not all that comes out. It looks like part of a tooth came with it.

You ask your spouse to look at your mouth, and sure enough, you lost part of your tooth.

What Should You Do?

We understand that you are in the middle of a dental emergency, and you or your spouse should contact The Dentist House as soon as you are able if you are in or near Ridgecrest, CA.

If the emergency occurs outside of our regular hours, call anyway (760-657-4049). We have 24-hour contact line to get you the help you need as soon as possible.

Now, you also may have some immediate concerns that need to be addressed before you are able to see the dentist.

The first thing you will want to do is clean your mouth. You may have some bleeding, and you will want to rinse it away.

You may need to find some gauze (the concession stand may have some in a first aid kit) to stop apply pressure until the bleeding stop. Once it does, you may want to rinse your mouth again.

You will need more gauze to cover your tooth. One of the problems with broken teeth is they can have sharp edges or points. If you leave your broken tooth uncovered, you may be risking accidental cuts of soft tissues like your cheeks, lips or gums.

You also may start to notice some pain or swelling.

If you do, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever. A small bag of ice (again, the concession stand may come in handy) can be used to reduce swelling.

Fixing The Problem

A broken tooth can be fixed a couple different ways depending on the depth and severity of the break.

A small break may be repaired with dental bonding. This would be the best-case scenario for this situation

A larger break may require a dental crown. To fix this, we may have to reshape the parts of your teeth that have been weakened as a result of the break. This will make it possible to cover the healthy parts of your tooth with a dental crown.

A deep break is more worrisome. This may expose the innermost parts of your tooth, specifically the pulp chamber. A deep break could allow bacteria to infect your pulp and cause it to become inflamed.

If that happens, then a root canal treatment may be needed to remove or prevent an infection as well as to minimize or alleviate any subsequent pain.

One thing that may make your emergency dental care easier to handle is our sedation dentistry.

Nitrous oxide, in particular, can be used for quick pain relief and to help your relax. By inhaling the gas, you will experience a sense of calm, and you won’t feel any pain during your emergency procedure.

You or your loved one can let us know if this is something you want to receive.

Emergency Dental Care

At The Dentist House in Ridgecrest, CA, we know that you want relief as soon as possible when you are in the middle of a dental emergency.

If you call during our regular hours, we offer same-day appointments. If your emergency occurs outside of those hours, remember you can still call. Our 24-hour number will help you get in touch with someone who can help you faster.

A broken tooth is just one of many possible dental emergencies that could affect you or someone you love.

One more time, our number is 760-657-4049.