A chipped tooth is a common dental problem, especially among children and adults who are very active. While a chipped tooth does not typically cause pain, it can still be uncomfortable and have significant cosmetic consequences. A chipped tooth filling is usually the best way to fix the issue. This blog post will look at the causes, symptoms, and treatment options available for a chipped tooth.
Causes of Chipped Tooth
Normal Wear and Tear:
Our teeth undergo enormous pressure over the years, and constant biting and chewing can eventually lead to a chipped or broken tooth. Overuse causes gradual wear and tear on the tooth enamel, making it more prone to damage. This wear and tear can cause cavities and lead to additional dental problems if left untreated. In such cases, getting regular checkups and promptly addressing dental issues is crucial.
Bruxism (Teeth Grinding):
Bruxism is a common dental condition that affects millions of people worldwide. This habit involves clenching and grinding teeth, which can cause chipped and broken teeth. Bruxism is often a result of stress or anxiety, and people may not even be aware that they have this condition. You should visit a dental professional as soon as you notice any symptoms, such as jaw pain or headaches, so they can recommend a custom-fit mouthguard or other treatments to alleviate bruxism.
Eating Hard or Sticky Foods:
Chewing on hard candy or biting into something unexpected, like a popcorn kernel, can also cause chipped teeth. While watching what you eat or drink is important, it can be nearly impossible to prevent every unexpected mishap. Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine, such as brushing twice daily, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash, can help protect your teeth against sudden damage.
Trauma to the Mouth:
Accidents happen, and trauma to the mouth can cause a chipped or broken tooth. Falling, getting hit in the mouth, or even biting down on something hard can fracture the tooth enamel or cause the tooth to break entirely. Your dentist can recommend the best action to prevent further damage, whether you have a chipped tooth due to physical activity, an accident, or dental disease.
Improper Dental Fillings:
Lastly, improper dental fillings can cause a chipped tooth if used improperly or fitted incorrectly. Dental fillings repair areas of the tooth damaged by decay, chipped, or broken. Sometimes, if the filling is not done correctly, it can cause additional damage to the tooth, resulting in further dental procedures like root canal treatment or fitting a dental crown.
Symptoms of Chipped Tooth
Sharp or Throbbing Pain
One of the most common symptoms of a chipped tooth is a sharp or throbbing pain. This can occur when the filling material cracks, exposing the sensitive inner layers of the tooth. The pain may come and go, depending on the severity of the chipping. If the pain is mild, you can manage it with over-the-counter painkillers. But, if the pain is persistent and severe, it is better to visit a dentist.
Sensitivity When Biting or Chewing
Another symptom of a chipped tooth is sensitivity when biting or chewing. You may feel sharp pain while eating hard or crunchy foods. The pressure exerted on the tooth activates the nerves, causing pain. If the sensitivity is mild, it may improve with sugarless gum that can help reduce sensitivity. However, if the sensitivity is persistent, it may require dental treatment.
Feeling Roughness or a Hole in the Affected Tooth:
If the filling material has worn down over time and has chipped off, you may feel roughness or a hole in the affected tooth. You may also feel that food is getting stuck in the hole. This can cause tooth decay, infections, and other dental problems. If you notice a hole in your tooth or rough edges, visit a dentist to get it fixed as soon as possible.
Changes in the Colour or Shape of the Tooth:
If you have a chipped or cracked tooth, you may also notice changes in the colour or shape of the tooth. A chipped or cracked tooth can cause a portion of the tooth to break off, which may change its shape or size. Additionally, you may notice discolouration or small chips in your tooth enamel. If you notice any cosmetic changes in your teeth, it may require a dental crown or other cosmetic treatment.
Dental Treatment Options:
The treatment for a chipped tooth depends on the severity and location of the chip. A dentist may use temporary dental bonding material to fill the gap for mild chips. A dentist may recommend a root canal treatment or dental crown if the chipping is severe. A root canal treatment is done when the pulp inside the tooth is infected, and a dental crown is necessary when a significant portion of the tooth is missing.
Filling Treatment for Chipped Tooth
When it comes to fixing a chipped tooth, several filling treatment options are available. One option is dental bonding, which involves applying a tooth-coloured resin to the damaged area and then shaping and polishing it for a natural look. Dental bonding is a quick and pain-free procedure that can be done in one visit.
Another option is a composite filling, similar to dental bonding but involves using a stronger material to fill the chip. Composite fillings are more durable than dental bonding and can last several years with proper care.
For larger chips or more severe damage, a crown may be necessary. A crown is a cap placed over the entire tooth to protect it and restore its shape and function. Crowns are usually made from porcelain or ceramic and can last for many years.
Overall, the best treatment option for a chipped tooth will depend on the severity of the damage and the individual’s specific needs and preferences. It’s important to consult a dentist to determine the best course of treatment for a chipped tooth.
Prevention Tips to Avoid Chipped Tooth
Wear a Mouthguard:
The most common cause of traumatic injuries to teeth is sports participation. Any contact sport has the potential to cause a chipped or broken tooth. Wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth from being damaged, especially if you play a sport like hockey or basketball. Nighttime mouthguards are also essential if you’re someone who grinds their teeth while sleeping.
Avoid Hard or Sticky Foods:
Certain types of food can be more damaging to teeth than others. Some common examples include hard candy, popcorn kernels, and ice cubes. Avoiding these foods, especially if you already have fillings in your teeth, is best. Sticky foods such as caramel and toffee can also cause issues. They can get stuck to your teeth, pull out your fillings, or even crack them.
Regular Dental Checkups and Cleanings:
Regular dental checkups and cleanings are crucial when identifying any issues early on. Your dentist can look closer at your teeth and identify any potential problems. If they notice that one of your fillings is beginning to deteriorate, they may suggest replacing it before it has a chance to chip or break.
Good Oral Hygiene:
Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for keeping your teeth and fillings healthy. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. Brushing helps remove plaque and bacteria from teeth, and flossing removes food particles and debris that can harm teeth.
Avoiding Bad Habits:
Some habits, such as biting your nails or using your teeth as tools, can lead to chipped teeth. It’s essential to avoid these bad habits to maintain good dental health. Additionally, avoiding sugary foods and drinks can help reduce the risk of tooth decay and prevent the need for fillings in the first place.
A chipped tooth can be painful and uncomfortable, but several treatment options are available. If you have a chipped or broken tooth, it is crucial to seek treatment from your dentist as soon as possible before the problem worsens. When the tooth is treated early, repairing it without needing a root canal or extraction may be possible. Protecting your teeth from damage, such as practising good oral hygiene or avoiding chewing on hard food items, can help you maintain a healthy, beautiful smile for longer. Contact our professional dental team at Synergy Dental Group to schedule your first appointment!
Repairing a Chipped or Broken Tooth https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/repairing-a-chipped-or-broken-tooth
Chipped Tooth: Broken or Cracked Teeth Repair and Treatment https://www.dentaly.org/us/chipped-tooth-repair/