It’s not uncommon to chip a tooth, whether from a minor sports injury or even biting down on something just a bit too hard. Teeth are not invincible and can be susceptible to damage if we don’t treat them with care.
A doctor should examine your chipped tooth to determine the fix needed to maintain a healthy and bright smile. A chipped tooth can lead to other issues if proper treatment is ignored.
Can You Ignore a Chipped Tooth?
Your dentist should always examine a chipped tooth, but it does not mean all chipped teeth need treatment. A minor chip may not require medical treatment except for cosmetic purposes, but it’s hard to determine how deep the damage goes without a professional examination.
In many cases, a broken tooth can be saved, and a quick call to the dentist may allow them to repair the tooth with a filling. A large break or crack may require a root canal or another procedure.
What Happens if a Chipped Tooth Is Left Untreated?
An ignored chipped tooth could lead to numerous issues that may affect your overall oral health. Here are a few reasons why you should visit your dentist:
A chipped or cracked tooth can lead to some discomfort and increased sensitivity in your mouth. For example, if the chip has gone deep enough to expose some of the tooth’s nerves, it may be uncomfortable to bite down. You may also feel discomfort when eating hot or cold foods and drinks.
A chipped tooth can leave an uneven or jagged surface in your mouth, impacting your tongue and gums. For example, if your tongue drags across a rough surface when eating or talking, it could cause an injury or cut. If you’re experiencing this, book an appointment with your dentist to have it filed down or restored.
Infection can be a severe issue in a broken or chipped tooth and should be dealt with swiftly. Your mouth is full of bacteria, and a broken tooth can allow bacteria to enter and develop into a tooth abscess, which may require root canal treatment.
How to Repair a Chipped Tooth
If your chipped tooth needs fixing, here are some available treatment options your dentist may choose to use:
Dental bonding is a simple and common treatment used to enhance your smile or repair any minor chips, cracks, and damage to your teeth. A typical procedure involves using composite resin, a tooth-coloured material, to shape, replace, or fill in any missing pieces in your teeth.
Dental crowns might be needed in various situations, such as holding a dental bridge in place, covering an implant, protecting a weak tooth, or restoring a broken tooth. If your tooth has been damaged but is still there, your dentist might recommend getting a crown to restore its shape and function. Crowns can be made of metal, Zirconia , porcelain, or porcelain-fused-to-metal.
Veneers are a thin shell-like cover that attaches to the front portion of your teeth; in most cases, the veneers will be made of porcelain or composite resin. They are often used for cosmetic purposes to reshape and enhance the appearance of your teeth, whether broken, chipped, or discoloured.
Root canal treatment is generally done when a tooth becomes infected and needs cleaning and saving. A typical procedure involves removing the inflamed and infected pulp, disinfecting, and sealing the hole.
Tips for Protecting Your Teeth
The best way to fix a chipped tooth is to avoid having it broken in the first place. Here are some helpful tips for protecting your teeth:
Eat Less Sugar
Sugary foods and drinks are known to increase the risk of tooth decay, leading to higher chances of chipping or breaking your teeth. Some ways you can limit the impact of sugar on your teeth are through:
- Brushing and flossing after eating high-sugar foods and drinks
- Limiting the time sugar is touching your teeth and avoid grazing; enjoy your meal or drink in one sitting
- Rinse with water after eating or drinking
Limit Acidic Foods & Beverages
Acidic foods and drinks can break down the enamel in your teeth, leading to chips and cracks. Enamel is a strong outer covering that protects teeth from damage or decay. Someone with weak enamel may have a greater risk of having their teeth chip or crack.
Avoid Eating Hard Things
It’s important to be cautious when eating hard foods that could break or crack your tooth. Some foods that may lead to cracks or chips can include:
- Hard candy
- Popcorn kernels
Many other hard foods can lead to tooth damage. Be sure to chew carefully and take your time when eating to avoid damage.
If you love to play contact sports or grind your teeth, consider wearing a mouthguard or overnight retainers. You can minimize the risk of tooth damage and still enjoy your favourite activities.
Book an Appointment Today
If you have a chipped tooth or any questions about your oral health, our team can answer your questions and help you determine the best treatment for your teeth.At Markham Dental Smiles, our team of experienced dentists is happy to book you an appointment to discuss your oral health.