Reasons Why You Need to Address Chipped or Cracked Tooth
As soon as you notice a chipped or cracked tooth, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist. They will assess the severity of the chip or crack and create a treatment plan that is unique to you.
Here are the reasons why you should address the problem right away:
Common Causes of Chipped or Cracked Tooth
Do you like chewing hard candies or ice? You may not be aware, but this can put a lot of stress on your teeth and lead to cracks or chips.
Grinding or Bruxism
This is a condition where you involuntarily grind your teeth, usually at night. The biting force of your enamel can put a lot of pressure on your teeth and result in cracks or chips.
As we get older, our teeth may become more brittle and susceptible to damage. This is because the enamel that protects our teeth begins to wear away, exposing the inner layers of the tooth.
An injury to the mouth can also lead to a fractured tooth. This can happen if you fall and hit your mouth on a hard surface or are involved in a sports accident.
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ABOUT Chipped or Cracked Tooth
While a minor chip or crack in your tooth is not an emergency, you should still see your dentist as soon as possible. However, if the damage is quite large and you start feeling severe pain and sensitivity, it may signify a bigger problem. For example, your tongue may become painful if your broken tooth has a sharp edge that rubs against it. In this case, you should see your dentist right away because you don’t want to end up causing wounds to your tongue. Also, your dentist may recommend a root canal treatment if the crack goes all the way down to your tooth’s pulp.
In addition, a chipped or cracked tooth can result in bite problems. Typically, our teeth come into contact with each other in a certain way when we bite down. But if you have a chipped or cracked tooth, this can disrupt your bite and cause pain. If this occurs, you should see your dentist as soon as you can.
There are signs you can experience if you have a chipped tooth, such as tooth pain when biting or chewing, sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, and visible or invisible cracks on your tooth. The pain may be intermittent, as opposed to an abscess or tooth decay, which may cause chronic and persistent toothache. In some cases, you can feel pain in your tooth, but you can’t see any visible signs of cracks.
Most dental concerns, such as cavities and gum disease, will show visible signs before or along with experiencing any pain. But with a chipped tooth, the pain can come first since the damage is usually on the surface of your tooth. However, you may also see a small bump on your gums near the tooth if it results in an infection. Moreover, bad breath may arise if you have a chipped tooth since food particles may be stuck in the cracks of your tooth.
There are a few ways to address a chipped or cracked tooth, depending on the severity of the damage. For very minor chips, your dentist may just smooth out the edges of your tooth with a drill to avoid any further damage or pain. If the chip is bigger, they may use bonding material to rebuild the tooth. They will do this by adding the material to the tooth and then shaping it to match the rest of your teeth.
In more severe cases, your dentist may need to do a crown or veneer procedure. This involves removing a layer of your tooth structure so they can place a custom-made crown or veneer over the entire tooth to protect it. A dental crown is a good way to help improve your smile quickly. In extreme cases, when your tooth is too damaged to save, you may need to get it extracted or have a root canal.
There are some things you can do to temporarily manage a chipped or cracked tooth at home while you wait to see a dentist. Firstly, rinse your mouth with warm water and salt and apply pressure, especially if you experience bleeding. Once the bleeding has stopped, you can apply ice packs to your cheeks where the pain is coming from to reduce swelling. You can also take ibuprofen or other over-the-counter painkillers to help with the pain. Second, avoid chewing on that side of your mouth to prevent further damage, as previously mentioned.
If you can find the removed tooth fragment, rinse and wrap it with wet gauze and bring it with you to your dentist appointment. If the chipped tooth leaves a sharp edge, you can use a temporary dental filling, dental wax, or sugarless gum to cover it and avoid cutting your tongue or the inside of your cheek. Lastly, clean your mouth with extra care after every meal. Gently brush your teeth twice per day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and floss once daily to avoid infection.