Chipped teeth can be a common occurrence, but it's important to take action right away. Ignoring a chipped tooth can lead to more serious dental problems, such as infection and tooth loss. If you have a chipped tooth, it's important to make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Our teeth are incredibly strong, but they can still crack, break, or splinter.
You may not feel any pain when you first damage a tooth, but this doesn't mean you should avoid going to the dentist. If you delay or skip the appointment, the broken or chipped tooth can become infected and cause irreversible damage. When you visit your dentist, they will evaluate the damage and consider some options for treatment. If the chip in the tooth is very small and hasn't compromised the enamel too much, it may be possible to leave it as is.
However, if the crack has spread to the pulp of the tooth, an endodontic procedure may be necessary and a crown can help prevent the crack from spreading further. If the crack extends below the gum line, it cannot be saved and will need to be removed. Your dentist may also use a resin-based composite material to replace small parts of a tooth that have been chipped. This material is sprayed onto the tooth to roughen the surface and improve the bond between the tooth and the composite.
In addition to visiting your dentist for treatment, there are some steps you can take at home to relieve pain from a chipped tooth. Avoiding hard or crunchy foods can help reduce pain and sensitivity. You can also use over-the-counter pain relievers or apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and discomfort. It's important to remember that even old fillings or restorations designed to strengthen and protect teeth can cause a chipped or broken tooth.
Cavities create holes that weaken teeth from the inside, increasing the risk of breaking or chipping once the tooth can no longer withstand biting and chewing. If you have a chipped tooth, don't wait for it to get worse. Make an appointment with your dentist right away so they can evaluate and treat it before it causes more serious dental problems.