Chipped Tooth: Is It a Big Deal?

Chipping a tooth is not something you should take lightly - it can lead to infection, pain, nerve damage and more! Learn why you should visit your dentist as soon as possible if you chip your tooth.

Chipped Tooth: Is It a Big Deal?

A chipped tooth can be a serious issue if not treated quickly. It can lead to infection, pain, and even nerve damage. If the broken part of the tooth opens to the pulp, bacteria have easy access to the bloodstream. Splinters from large teeth can cause infection and pain if not treated quickly.

You should visit a dentist as soon as your tooth breaks, even if you don't feel pain. The dentist will assess the damage and recommend the best course of action. Splinters can weaken teeth and leave them vulnerable to cracks and fractures. At other times, chipped teeth can suffer nerve damage.

Chips can also leave the edge of the tooth sharp and uneven, which can cut into the soft tissues of the mouth. Although enamel is the hardest and most mineralized tissue in the body, its strength has limits. Falling, getting hit in the face, or biting something hard, especially if a tooth already has cavities, can cause a tooth to chip or break. If you discover that you have broken or chipped a tooth, don't panic. There are many things your dentist can do to fix this.

Yes, you should visit your dentist to repair a chipped tooth as soon as possible. Even if it appears mild and painless, a chipped tooth is weaker and has a high risk of further chipping or breaking. Small chips weaken the tooth and can cause it to break even more. As chips develop into larger breaks, you can develop more problems such as pain and sensitivity to heat and cold.

If the tooth remains broken or breaks below the gum line, painful infections can also develop. A small chip can be noticed if it interferes with the symmetry of your smile or makes a black space visible behind the tooth. Your tooth is supposed to be smooth, but the roughness of the chipped area could make it more likely to accumulate food and bacteria. For larger chips that the bonding material cannot repair, the dentist may choose to clean the area and apply a cap to protect the rest of the tooth and prevent decay and infection. Your dentist may also be able to determine if the chip is actually a crack that could cause an infection of the tooth. In addition, a piece of protective enamel will be missing, exposing the internal nerves of the tooth and making it sensitive to pressure, hot, cold, sweet, and acidic foods and drinks.

And for chipped teeth with damaged pulp or roots, root canal treatment may be necessary before placing a crown on the tooth. For some people, a chipped tooth is simply an aesthetic concern that only affects their smile and needs no treatment. With larger chips reaching the inside of the tooth, its pulp can be damaged, infected quickly, and begin to die. Sharp edges of a chipped tooth can cut through cheek, tongue, or gums causing painful wounds in the mouth that could make talking and eating uncomfortable. If no further problems are detected, your dentist will numb your tooth and surrounding gum before removing enough of it to make room for a crown. The force that caused your tooth to chip could have also displaced its roots which could cause discoloration or infection leading to its fall out. Finding out that you have a chipped tooth isn't fun but it's quite common in both children and adults.

Yes, you should visit your dentist to repair a chipped tooth as soon as possible as it has high risk of further chipping or breaking. Small chips weaken teeth and can cause them to break even more while larger chips reaching inside of them can cause infections leading to nerve damage or root canal treatment.

Priscilla Fusco
Priscilla Fusco

Subtly charming tv buff. Award-winning beer fanatic. Friendly social media fanatic. Lifelong twitter ninja. Internet guru. Amateur pop culture lover.

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