Your teeth are strong — they have to be, to put up with a lifetime of wear and tear. But sometimes, acidic foods, poor dental hygiene, injury to the mouth, or just overstress can cause a tooth to break. A chipped tooth may not feel as serious as a painful cavity, but it should be seen right away by a dentist. The sooner you fix a chipped tooth, the better. Here are the reasons why you should get a chipped tooth repaired, and how it can be done.
Risks of Chipped Teeth
There are many reasons to fix a chipped tooth. First, and most important, a chipped tooth can lead to further damage if the tooth breaks again. If the enamel is damaged, decay is also a possibility, and neighboring teeth can be threatened if it spreads. Leaving a chipped tooth untreated can turn what should be a simple and inexpensive repair into a much more complicated and costly process.
Second, a chipped tooth may produce sharp edges that can scratch the inside of your mouth and make chewing difficult. If the chipping severely weakens the tooth, it may also become painful. There is never any good reason to live with dental pain when a Charlotte emergency dentist is available.
How to Treat a Chipped Tooth
If a chipped tooth is causing you pain, use over-the-counter pain medications to help control it. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can also help. Avoid chewing on the damaged tooth, and don’t eat hard, crunchy foods or ones that break up into little particles that can get stuck in your teeth.
If the tooth has sharp edges that are cutting into your mouth or tongue, you can temporarily cover them with wax or sugarless gum until you see the dentist.
Dental treatment will usually take one of two forms. If the damage is not too bad, the dentist will replace the damaged area with a filling. If it is a front tooth that is chipped, instead of a filling the dentist will usually create a replacement for the chip of tooth-colored material and bond it to the damaged area.
For more seriously damaged teeth, the dentist will have to remove part of the tooth and cover the remainder with a dental crown. This should provide secure protection for the tooth while enabling normal eating.
If you have a chipped tooth, it’s important not to wait. Call a local Charlotte emergency dentist for an appointment right away. You’ll save time, pain, and money if you don’t let it linger.