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Did You Chip a Tooth? What You Need to Know

Harvey Dental Group
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BY Harvey Dental Group

A chipped tooth is unattractive and also can be painful. You can easily chip a tooth when you bite on something hard, like candy or ice. You may not even feel the tooth when it chips, but you can suffer some pain afterward. The following are some things you should know if you chip a tooth.

What Causes a Chipped Tooth?

In addition to biting down on a hard piece of food, you can chip teeth if you fall and hit your mouth at a certain angle. You can also break a tooth that is partially decayed. If you grind your teeth at night, you are also at a higher risk of a chipped tooth.

What Issues Can Happen If You Chip a Tooth?

You may not initially have a concern about a chipped tooth, particularly if you cannot see the tooth when you smile. A small chip is not as problematic as a large chip, unless the chip results in a sharp tooth. A sharp tooth can cut the interior of your mouth.

When you have a large chip in your tooth, you could suffer more serious issues. In addition to pain, you can have hot and cold sensitivity in the tooth, swollen glands, infection in the roots, or bad breath.

Deep chips can also result in tooth decay and further breakage of the tooth. You may need to have a tooth extraction if the chip is the cause of more invasive issues.

How Do You Repair a Chipped Tooth?

When you chip a tooth, you should go to the dentist right away to have the tooth repaired. Smaller tooth chips do not need an invasive treatment. Most dentists will file the tooth down. You will not require any sort of analgesic for this, as the enamel is not connected to the nerve. Your dentist may also opt to repair the chip with dermal bond.

Major cracks can damage the pulp inside the tooth. The dental pulp lives in the center of a tooth. The pulp is a live tissue and includes nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue.

If you have a bigger chip but the chip did not damage the dental pulp, the dentist may opt to cap or crown the tooth to prevent an infection in the future.

If your tooth chip is more significant, you will need a more extensive treatment. If you damage the pulp, you will be in pain and your tooth can get infected. You may need more extensive dental work later on, such as a root canal, if you do not have the chipped tooth repaired right away.

How Can You Prevent a Chipped Tooth?

The best way to avoid dealing with a chipped to is to prevent chips as best you can. The first step is to maintain healthy oral hygiene. See your dentist regularly and follow up if you have cavities. Tooth decay prevention and treatment are some of the best ways to keep your tooth enamel healthy.

If you are active in sports, ask your dentist for a mouth guard. Athletes are more likely to suffer tooth injuries on a regular basis. You should always wear your facial protective gear.

If you bite your nails or chew on other items due to a nervous tick, consider something else to help you relieve your stress, such as a stress ball or a brisk walk around the block.

When you have weak teeth, always avoid chewing on any hard foods, such as ice or hard candy. You can still enjoy these items, but do not bite down on them.

If you have any questions about your oral care, please contact Dr. M. Dawn Harvey, DMD, PC.

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