Here are some possible causes of a chipped tooth:
● Falling and hitting your mouth
● Suffering trauma to the face from an accident or sports injury
● Biting on a hard item or bone or food
● Cavities that weaken the tooth structure and make it vulnerable to impact
But is it a big deal? And/or when would it become a big deal?
Perhaps it is not as big an event as losing the tooth, and the chip may not be that big to affect your bite or smile, but the fact remains that you have lost valuable tooth structure, and possibly started a series of additional chips and cracks or some other kind of damage that is not apparent.
The best option when you have a chipped tooth is to visit your dentist for an evaluation, and perhaps an x-ray, to identify the extent of the damage and choose an appropriate remedy.
When it’s No Big Deal.
If the chip was a minor break to the surface of the tooth and did not affect the nerves, roots, or gums, then it is not a big deal. Depending on the extent of damage, your dentist can recommend a quick, easy, and affordable cosmetic remedy like bonding or filling.
When there’s Serious Damage.
If you experience sensitivity or pain from the chipped tooth when you chew or take something very hot or cold, it means that the damage was severe enough to expose the nerves housed at the core of the tooth.
A chip that occurs on any of the pointed chewing surfaces of the molars is known as a broken cusp. It is usually not painful, but should still be checked by a dental professional.
Intermittent Emergency Care for a Chipped Tooth
If your tooth is chipped, you should make an appointment to see your Woodland Hills 24-hour emergency dentists as soon as possible. But for first aid care:
● Rinse your mouth with some warm water
● If the injury causes bleeding, use a gauze to apply pressure to the site
● If you can’t see a dentist the same day, cover the chipped tooth with dental cement to protect the remaining portion until in the meantime
Professional care for chipped tooth depends on the extent of damage. For small chips, the dentist may simply smooth and polish the site to remove sharp edges. For larger chips that are not sensitive, the dentist may recommend a crown, filling, or cap over the damaged tooth to restore its normal function and appearance. But for large chips that expose the nerves, you may need endodontic treatment or tooth extraction followed by an implant or bridge.