Chipped Tooth: Causes and Treatment

Believe it or not, a chipped tooth is a fairly normal occurrence, especially in children. However, it is also common for a chipped tooth to happen in adulthood. Chipped tooth causes can range from injury to aggressive grinding of teeth, biting too hard on a portion of food, cavities, or simply old age.

The teeth are developed to withstand even the hardest food in existence. Unfortunately, due to continuous wear and tear, they deteriorate. One big factor to chipped teeth in adulthood is poor dental hygiene.

Since teeth are protected by a layer of enamel, poor dental hygiene can be the cause of their deterioration. Plaque buildup gives way and incubates harmful bacteria that produce acid that will eventually melt down the enamel in the teeth. The loss of primary protection can endanger the teeth and make them weak.

How to Identify Chipped Teeth

Most of the time, having chipped teeth does not cause any pain. People rarely notice that they have chipped teeth until they look in the mirror. However, there are extreme cases of chipped teeth that the removed chunk is big enough to expose the nerves in the tooth.

When this happens, people usually experience pain while chewing and sudden sensitivity to hot and cold food. Swollen gums, especially in the area of the infected tooth, start to get visible and overall discomfort can be felt.

Chipped teeth are often interchangeable with cracked teeth. However, the two are entirely different phenomena. A cracked tooth sometimes only affects the enamel or the surface layer of the teeth, but there are cases when the cracks reach the root.

When a tooth is cracked, it can usually be felt while eating because there is a slight, sharp pain as you chew.

Treatments for Chipped and Cracked Teeth

Dental professionals offer different services that can resolve the issue of your chipped tooth. In most cases, a chipped tooth is not a serious concern. But there are cases when a chipped enamel needs treatment. So how do dentists repair chipped teeth?

Depending on the damage to the teeth, a dentist will start by polishing the area. If the chip is particularly small, there will be no additional procedure that needs to be done.

In the case of a medium chipped enamel, where a rather huge chunk of enamel is damaged, dentists apply a filling to the teeth to restore their normal appearance and to prevent further damage to the inner teeth.

When the damage is quite big to the point that it reaches and exposes the tooth nerve, the dentist performs a root canal in order to remove the damaged nerve.

Meanwhile, similar to a chipped tooth repair, treatments for cracked teeth vary depending on the type of crack that is present.

Simple Cracked Teeth

Simple cracks on the teeth are also known as crazed lines. These types of cracks may not require professional help in general, but a visit to the dentist can help assess the situation on whether there are underlying damages in the area.

Split Teeth

In this kind of cracked teeth, the crack happens vertically. Split teeth commonly happen to molars, especially when a particular molar undergoes fillings. How is a chipped tooth repair possible for this damage? Depending on the damage of the roots, you will need cleaning or have the tooth completely removed.

Serious Cracked Tooth

A serious cracked tooth is a term used when the crack extends from the crown down to the roots. If this persists, you may experience pain and gum bleeding. Dentists may suggest removing the tooth altogether.

In general, dealing with cracked teeth can be easily fixed with simple solutions like teeth bonding. Teeth bonding is made possible by a resin that is of similar color as the teeth. In a more complex scenario, dentists can bond the infected next to the healthy ones to make them stable while the surrounding gums are healing. This method is called teeth splint.

A root canal is only necessary for the worst-case scenarios, like when the damage from the crack affects the roots and the nerves. A root canal is necessary to remove the damaged pulp and prevent infection.

What to Do About Chipped Teeth

As mentioned, chipped teeth are not necessarily a cause of alarm when mild. However, you still have to take care of your teeth for them to remain in good shape despite the small chip. Taking care of a chipped tooth is fairly simple. Apply this home chipped tooth treatment as first aid.

1. Rinse with warm water.

Warm water can help in case there is inflammation in the area. Immediate rinsing can also prevent the bacteria in the mouth from entering the wound in case the chip is large enough. When bacteria get a hold of an open wound, it becomes a breeding ground for infection. Avoid getting infections by gargling with warm water.

2. Apply pressure.

Applying pressure is only necessary when there is bleeding. Get a clean gauze and apply pressure to the bleeding gums. This will help stop the bleeding and also prevent the area from getting infected. Make sure that the gauze is clean. If there is no gauze available in the first aid kit, use a clean towel.

3. Apply dental cement.

This is for the instances when a large portion of the tooth is chipped, exposing the inner parts of the teeth, and you can’t go immediately to the dentist. Dental cement is readily available in drugstores at an affordable price. Be careful and make sure to follow the instructions on how to apply the dental cement correctly.

4. Seek professional help.

If you are not sure about the intensity of the effect of your chipped tooth, the safest option is to visit a dentist. A dental professional can give you a complete overview of your teeth and the surrounding area and suggest ways on how you can take care of the affected area.

A visit to the dentist can also prevent other complications from arising. Your dentist can prescribe the right medicine for your chipped or cracked tooth as well. Visit the dentist immediately to avoid infections and other complications.

Sunrise Dentistry Can Help You Fix Your Chipped Teeth

If you find yourself with chipped or cracked teeth and you are in need of dentists in Durango, CO, Sunrise Dentistry can help.

The professionals at Sunrise Dentistry are equipped with the knowledge and understanding of human teeth and can guarantee to bring your teeth to a good state of health. Dentists at Sunrise Dentistry will also give you ideas on what to do about chipped tooth.

Experience holistic dentistry with Sunrise Dentistry. Book an appointment with us now!