What is a Chipped tooth?
A chipped tooth is defined by a tooth breaking at the gum line, where part of the outer layer covering – also known as” Enamel” – completely separates.
Enamel is considered as one of the toughest substances in our body. However, it does have a limit and can chip from excessive friction or a strong collision. Resulting in a jagged or sharp tooth surface.
And in most cases, this little chip on a tooth may not be painful and is usually regarded as not problematic if the tooth is not displaced out of its position and the fracture only involves the enamel.
Causes of a chipped tooth
A chipped tooth can happen for a variety of reasons. The causes can range widely, depending on a number of factors such as your lifestyle and habits.
Some of the common causes include:
- Biting on something hard, like ice or eating hard candy
- Using your teeth as tools, to bite open a bag or pull things apart.
- Trauma / Injury to the face from playing contact sports or by falls and auto accidents
- Grinding and clenching of teeth
Signs & Symptoms of a chipped tooth
A chipped tooth, especially a minor one, does not always show symptoms.
Aside from affecting the appearance of your smile, you might experience some discomfort due to:
- Feeling a sharp and jagged tooth surface when you run your tongue over it
- Irritation of your tongue as it catches on the tooth’s rough and uneven surface
- Pain or irritation of the surrounding gums from putting pressure on the chipped tooth when biting.
- Cut your cheek or lip from getting caught on the sharp edge
- Sensitivity from eating hot or cold food
What you should know – If you don’t get it treated?
Usually, a minor chipped is considered a non-dental emergency, however, it is still best to have it get treated as soon as possible.
Regardless of the size of a crack, any tooth that has been fractured will be prone to further damage over time.
This could lead to serious complications and potential infection as bacteria are now allowed to enter into the inner softer part of a tooth through the broken enamel.
In short, the deeper and wider the damage of a tooth, the more extensive and expensive the treatment needed.
What are the treatment options?
Treatment for chipped tooth mainly depends on the severity, symptoms and its location
If the damage is minor, the dentist may repair it with a simple filling or polishing off the jagged edge.
For more extensive chips your dentist may recommend taking a series of X-rays as part of the diagnostic process, in order to identify any additional injury that is beyond visibility.
In conclusion, if you happen to chip your teeth, it’s best to seek out your dentist and get the area evaluated so that it can get treated to its optimal appearance and function.
At Pure NZ Dental, our friendly and highly professional team are passionate about providing you with the dental care that you deserve!
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