4 Foods That Can Turn a Broken Tooth into a Dental Emergency

Broken teeth can be painful and traumatic. However, a broken tooth isn't always a dental emergency. If you are fortunate, your broken tooth will only need some restorative treatment, such as a filling or some minor dental bonding to repair the damage. Unfortunately, even minor damage can quickly call for emergency dental treatment if you expose your broken tooth to certain foods.

Have you broken a tooth recently? Then ensure that you avoid the following foods while you await treatment on your tooth. Otherwise, you'll be looking at a dental emergency.

1. Acidic fruits and vegetables

The key to ensuring that your broken tooth doesn't become an emergency lies in protecting the newly exposed root. Since a break in the enamel covering of a tooth leaves the nerve or root in the centre of the tooth exposed to foreign matter and bacteria, you need to watch what you eat.

Although fruits and vegetables are generally healthy for your body, those with a low pH, which essentially means they are highly acidic, will irritate your broken tooth's nerve. Therefore, you should avoid eating the following fruits and vegetables until a dentist repairs your tooth.

  • Tomatoes
  • Sauerkraut
  • Lemon/Limes
  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes

Bear in mind that this isn't an exhaustive list, so be sure to do your research before buying fruit or veg not on this list.

2. Sugary treats

Sugar will irritate a tooth's exposed nerve, but not without help from bacteria. When you eat sugary foods, the bacteria that live on and around your teeth, easily break down those simple sugars to make them easier to digest. Those bacterial organisms then produce acid that can penetrate broken teeth and irritate the exposed nerve.

Until you have repaired your tooth then, don't go snacking on anything high in sugar.

3. Hot or cold drinks

When you bite into a chunk of ice cream, what happens? You usually get a jolting pain that shoots through your central incisors. This is because the nerves in your teeth are reacting to the freezing temperature of the ice cream. Imagine if those teeth didn't have enamel to protect them. The never would be directly exposed to those freezing temperatures.

4. Chunky foods

The last thing you need is for bits of pieces of food to lodge inside your broken tooth. If that happens, the pieces themselves — or your efforts to remove them — could irritate the nerve. That means you need to avoid eating foods that break into chunky bits, like nuts, tough vegetables like broccoli, and chunky cuts of meat such as steak.

Ultimately, you can wait to repair a broken tooth if you protect the nerve. However, as soon as you irritate the nerve, an infection will set in as the nerve dies and then begins to rot, and you'll soon have a dental emergency on your hands.