Can a Chipped Tooth Be a Dental Emergency?
A chipped tooth can present a problem, both aesthetically and functionally, but is it really something you should be losing sleep over? Well, yes, yes it is. Well, a chipped tooth isn’t a serious emergency, but it definitely does require some emergency dental care, especially if the chip is deep enough to affect your tooth structure. Namely, that can cause further chipping and cracks, leading to toothaches, tooth sensitivity, and decay.
But, if you’re experiencing a chipped tooth emergency, don’t stress about it too much. Instead, click here for details about how to deal with it, and feel free to contact us for more information or inquire about emergency dental services. Now, without further ado, let’s go over all the symptoms of a chipped tooth.
Chipped Tooth: Symptoms
Now, the first step to solving any problem is establishing what the problem actually is. And no, it’s no different when it comes to a tooth emergency. Here are some chipped tooth symptoms to be on the lookout for.
- A tooth with a jagged surface – If you feel a rough and jagged surface when running your tongue over your teeth, it’s a clear indication that you have a chipped tooth.
- Discomfort and pain – If you’re feeling pain or discomfort when biting down, the chances are you’re dealing with a chipped tooth. If the chip happens to be located near the nerve of your tooth, it’s best to make an emergency dentist appointment.
- Feelings of irritation – Irritation on the gums that surround the tooth can also be an indicator of a chipped tooth. Additionally, if you feel irritation on your tongue, it could also be from dragging it across the jagged surfaces.
Chipped Tooth: Causes
So, we’ve gone over the symptoms, but what are some of the causes of tooth chipping?
Poor Dental Hygiene
Poor dental hygiene is the culprit behind various different dental and oral problems. As it turns out, it can also cause your teeth to chip. That is because bad dental habits can often lead to enamel degradation, which causes your teeth to become weaker and eventually chipped.
Cavities can lead to a plethora of different problems, and one of them is chipped teeth. As your teeth begin to deteriorate due to cavities, they also become weaker. This leaves them vulnerable to chipping.
A bad bite due to misaligned teeth can often lead to chipping. That is due to the uncomfortable angle at which your teeth clash with each other.
Biting Your Nails
Nail biting can be bad for many different reasons. That includes both infections of the nail and the skin surrounding the nail, as well as gum infections. Also, forceful nail-biting over a prolonged period of time can lead to chipped teeth.
While nail-biting can be a way to relieve stress for many people, it’s generally considered unhealthy and can be dealt with by finding different ways to relieve stress. Playing and fidgeting with various anti-stress toys can be a good way to put your nail-biting habits behind you.
Another bad habit on this list is teeth grinding. Similar to nail-biting, it can be a reaction to stress or anxiety, and can also lead to chipped teeth. Many people grind their teeth throughout the day, but many also do it while asleep. A good way to combat this habit is through splint therapy, which includes getting a mouth guard that you can wear at night to prevent teeth grinding.
Bad Chewing Habits
Chewing on objects such as pens or pencils or chewing on ice can very easily lead to teeth chipping. So, it’s best to avoid these habits as much as possible to keep your teeth safe and sound.
Piercings on your cheeks or tongue can very easily cause your teeth to chip. Repeated interactions with hard objects, such as jewelry, can cause your tooth enamel to weaken, which will lead to chipped teeth.
Chipped Tooth: Treatment
While a chipped tooth can be bothersome, there are many ways to treat it. Here are some of the treatment options your dentist might suggest depending on your specific situation:
Bonding or Filling
If the chip on your tooth is relatively small your dentist will treat it with a filling. However, larger chips are usually treated with bonding.
Bonding is also a common treatment option for chips that are located somewhere on your front teeth. When performing this procedure, your dentist will apply a tooth-colored composite resin to the surface of your tooth. Then, the resin will be molded according to the form of your tooth. With the help of UV lights, the material will harden and dry. After the drying is finished and the tooth has become hard enough, more molding will be done to perfect the appearance of the tooth.
Another way to fix chipped teeth, especially front ones, is to get dental veneers. When it comes to aesthetic dentistry, dental veneers are one of its proudest moments. Also, the process for getting them isn’t too complicated either.
Firstly, the tooth enamel will be shaved away to make space for the veneers. Next, your dentist will take an impression of your tooth. While the veneers are being made, you will be provided with temporary replacements.
Getting a dental crown is also an option when it comes to chipped teeth. A dental crown will return all the functionality to your tooth, and it’s generally recommended if your chipped tooth isn’t located in the front.
If you still have the missing fragment of your chipped teeth with you be sure to bring it to the dentist’s office with you since your dentist might be able to reattach it. Also, if your appointment is days away, store the missing chunk of your tooth in a glass filled with milk. It might sound silly, but it’s necessary in order to keep the calcium.