What to Do About a Chipped Tooth
Having a chipped tooth is one of the most common dental issues people deal with. Apart from being a big nuisance and a potentially serious problem, it also affects one’s confidence in their smile.
Many factors can contribute to a chipped tooth, from certain foods to accidents or falls. However, no matter the cause, the vital thing is to treat the chipped tooth as soon as possible. An emergency dental procedure is, thus, the best possible treatment option.
Stay tuned to find out the causes, symptoms, and potential treatment options for a chipped tooth.
How Does a Tooth Get Chipped?
Tooth chipping occurs when the outer part of your tooth, called the enamel, wears and becomes thin. Enamel is one of the hardest natural materials in nature, and its purpose is to protect the inside of your tooth from any bacteria or food in your mouth.
Still, no matter how hard enamel is, it can get injured. This injury can happen gradually if it wears over time. On the other hand, the injury can also be immediate if you sustain a blow to the face and the enamel breaks due to the pressure.
Chipped enamel leads to your tooth being uneven, as a part of it falls off. If you don’t treat it immediately, it can lead to an infection, injuries to your mouth, tongue, and other teeth, and even tooth loss.
What Are the Primary Causes of a Chipped Tooth?
As we have already mentioned, several factors can cause a chipped tooth. We will go over them below.
In most cases, a chipped tooth results from you biting down on something especially hard or crunchy. Such foods include candy or any type of snacks, as well as ice cubes. If you bite into these foods quickly and harshly, the danger of tooth chipping is even greater.
Spicy and Sweet Foods
Remember how we said that your enamel might wear slowly over time? That mainly happens due to spicy foods and sweets. These foods tend to linger in your mouth and on your teeth for a while after consuming them, especially if you don’t brush your teeth after.
As they accumulate on your teeth, these foods start attracting bacteria and provide them with the perfect breeding ground. These bacteria multiply quickly and start slowly eating away at your enamel. That makes the enamel weaken, meaning it is more prone to chipping.
Grinding Your Teeth
Many people struggle with teeth grinding while sleeping. It happens because of stress, anxiety, restless sleep, or nightmares. During the night, your teeth grind against each other, and if it happens regularly, your enamel is bound to suffer. Tooth chipping is the next stage many people who grind their teeth have to deal with.
Of course, your tooth might get chipped due to an accident as well. You could fall and hit your chin, a ball could hit you in the face, or someone could punch you. Either way, the pressure from the impact can cause your tooth to break immediately, leaving you with an uneven smile and other potential injuries.
The same can happen if you play certain sports without a mouthguard, including basketball. All sports that are heavily contact-based can lead to tooth chipping.
How Can You Prevent a Chipped Tooth?
Avoiding Certain Foods
Avoiding regular snacking on crunchy foods and ice will do wonders at preserving your enamel. Of course, you do not have to cut back on anything entirely. However, moderation is the key in these situations.
The same goes for sweets and spicy foods. And if changing your diet isn’t really an option, practicing regular and thorough oral hygiene is just as good. Make sure you brush your teeth as soon as you are done snacking, and no bacteria will have time to form or multiply due to these foods.
Apart from brushing, it is also important that you floss. That will ensure the spaces in between your teeth are also clean and free of bacteria.
When it comes to a chipped tooth caused by teeth grinding, you can try different approaches. People have found that a number of remedies ranging from meditation to anxiety reduction exercises can help them stop grinding their teeth in their sleep.
Simple remedies such as mouthguards might also work here, but they are not as comfortable.
Making sure you wear the necessary protective gear while playing sports is vital to preserving your teeth. No matter how bothersome it might be, it is really the best solution in this case.
Of course, you cannot control whether you will fall or have an accident in general. In such cases, you should skip prevention and go straight to treating your chipped tooth.
Treatment for Your Chipped Tooth
Reacting quickly is the key to a chipped tooth not turning into a more serious dental issue. If you don’t do so, you risk injuring your tongue, the insides of your cheeks, or even chipping another tooth if there’s any teeth grinding.
Furthermore, you also risk the chip getting worse. That could result in a good chunk of your tooth falling out, which will require a lot more attention and money than a simple chipped tooth.
So, calling up your dentist as soon as a chip happens is essential in this case. They will do an emergency dental procedure and take care of the imperfection. Depending on the damage, the dentist will either use fillings or a crown to cover your tooth and restore it back to its former glory.
A chipped tooth can occur quite easily, as anything from the foods you consume to an accident could cause it. A controlled diet, regular oral hygiene, and different protective gear can help prevent the issue.
If prevention isn’t possible, reacting quickly and having an emergency dentist procedure is the way to go. That way, you will minimize the damage and get your smile back quickly.