The enamel on your teeth is one of the toughest tissues in your body, but it’s still vulnerable to chipping and even breaking. Falls, impact to the face or something as mundane as biting down on hard foods can chip a tooth or worse, break it.
Aside from being painful, a chipped or cracked tooth can be highly problematic, especially in the long run. Regardless of the size of the crack or chip, you may want to consult your dental professional, especially if you’ve been experiencing pain or discomfort.
Before you do so, learn all there is to know about a chipped and cracked tooth, and discover the immediate steps you’d want to do to help salvage your chipped or cracked tooth.
Contrary to popular belief, a chipped tooth and cracked tooth are not interchangeable and they don’t mean the same thing. For those who’ve chipped their tooth, you may not experience any tooth pain unless the chip is large enough to expose the nerves in the inner layer of the tooth. An exposed nerve will increase your tooth sensitivity and chewing may start to be painful. Worse comes to worst, the tooth and nerve will decay and rot, effectively spreading to the remaining teeth if left unattended.
A cracked tooth can either affect just the tooth enamel, or the entire tooth down to its root. You may experience pain only when you bite or chew on something, or when there’s a drastic change in temperature in your mouth. Similar to a chipped tooth, it’s best to seek dental consultations to avoid any other unnecessary complications.
Common Causes Of Chipped Or Cracked Tooth
There are various reasons how a chipped or cracked tooth comes about, but the common ones include:
Cavities: Cavities are permanently damaged areas that can develop into tiny openings or holes. These cavities can weaken the teeth, making you even more prone to a chipped or cracked tooth.
Hard Hit: Physical trauma to the face, mouth or jaw can cause a tooth to be chipped or cracked.
Poor Hygiene: Poor oral care can predispose you to a chipped or cracked tooth, especially if you have weakened teeth, or damaged tooth enamel.
Tooth Grinding: Also known as bruxism, tooth grinding wears down the enamel, which can make your teeth more susceptible to cavities, tooth decay, chipping and cracking.
The first crucial step that you’d want to make is to secure an appointment with a dental clinic as soon as possible. Afterwards, rinse your mouth with warm water and apply pressure to the affected area with a piece of gauze. If same-day appointments are not possible, cover the tooth with dental cement or dental wax to protect it till your appointment date. You can pick these materials at your local drugstore. If the pain gets unbearable, ice the affected area on the outside of your cheek. Avoid using the chipped tooth until it’s fixed.
The aftercare includes regularly brushing your teeth and daily flossing. Your dentist would’ve given you a set routine or tips, so be sure to heed their advice.
The tooth repairing treatments are dependent on the severity of your chip or crack. For instance, a small chip will only require a bit of smoothing out and polishing of the said tooth. However, a large chip that exposes the nerve will require a root canal to remove the damaged nerve. You’ll then need a crown, cap or a dental implant to replace the chipped tooth. Consult with a dentist and they’d offer the most suitable solution to fix your tooth.
Do you have a broken tooth that needs fixing? We’re here to fix your teeth and ease your pain. Let us repair your teeth and bring your smile back to its former glory – and more.