Despite the fact that enamel is the hardest tissue of the body, it is actually relatively easy to chip a tooth. Besides from biting on something hard or falling and hitting your mouth at the right angle, dental conditions like tooth decay or night teeth grinding (bruxism), can also cause a tooth to chip. If you have recently chipped a tooth, it’s important that you are aware of potential problems that may arise from a chipped tooth.
You should always make an appointment to see your dentist when you chip a tooth. For minor chips, you typically won’t need a major repair. The chipped tooth may just need to be filed or filled with a dermal bond to restore its appearance. However, more significant cracks can require more extensive dental work.
If a chip is significant enough, it can damage the pulp that is inside the tooth. The dental pulp is the centre of your tooth, made up of living tissue, blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue.
Damage to the pulp can be extremely painful and, if untreated, can become infected. If this happens, you may require more extensive dental work.
For small chips, it may only be necessary for your dentist to smooth the rough edges or fill with a dermal filling that matches the colour your tooth. Severe chips that do not damage the root or pulp may require a cap or crown to protect the tooth from future infections. In the event where the pulp or root is damaged due to the chip, you may first need a root canal before a crown or cap is placed over the tooth.
Maintaining good oral hygiene is the first step in preventing a chipped tooth. Ensuring that you have no cavities or tooth decay can help maintain strong tooth enamel.
If you play sports, it is in your best interest to wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth. Your dentist can help fit you for a mouthguard. Athletes are prone to injury, especially in the face. Protective gear can help save teeth from sustaining injury.
If you have nervous habits like biting your nails or chewing on your pen cap – this can leave you prone to accidents! You may want to switch to something like squeezing a stress ball.
You should try to avoid hard lollies and chewing ice. We understand a hard sweet every now and again can be a nice treat – but avoid the temptation to bite and break the candy.
Even though you may do your best to protect your teeth from chipping, accidents happen and if you find yourself in this kind of situation, simply give your dentist a call and they will be happy to help.
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