You're enjoying your favorite piece of candy and all of a sudden, you feel a sharp pain and something solid in your mouth. You take a look and it's a piece of your tooth. Uh oh, you chipped your tooth!
Today, we'll cover all the basics of a chipped tooth, and discuss what to do when you end up with a cracked, chipped or broken tooth.
What Causes Chipped Tooth?
It is a well known fact that teeth are extremely sturdy and hard. They are meant to break down the toughest foods for you to digest and enjoy. But, even teeth have their limits; powerful damage to the teeth can cause them to chip or break. Some factors that can cause cracks to your teeth are:
- Physical activities that cause force to your head and jaw area
- Accidents such as falling or damage to your mouth
- Eating hard foods such as candy or ice
- Poor oral hygiene
- Excessive teeth grinding (Bruxism)
It is important to keep in mind that cracked teeth are also prone to further damage, resulting in chipped teeth.
How Do You Know If YOu Have a Cracked Tooth?
Cracked teeth can be identified thorugh a variety of symptoms. You may feel slight discomfort or even pain when partaking in activities that put pressure on the tooth such as chewing. Your tooth may even become more sensitive to extreme temperatures. If that is the case, your best option is to visit your dentist right away to prevent further damage to your cracked teeth.
Alot of the times, you may already have a cracked tooth that's not severe enough for you to notice. Craze lines are tiny vertical cracks on your tooth enamel that occur naturally . These occur through the usage of teeth over the years, and typically do not require dental care.
Then, there are tiny cracks on your teeth that occur through some sort of force. Although generally harmless when left alone, these tiny cracks in your teeth can develop into bigger problems later as cracked teeth are much more vulnerable to further damage, resulting in chipping or breaking of the tooth. It is important to visit your dentist on a regular basis to ensure these cracks are not left unchecked.
What Should You Do When You Chip a Tooth?
If you have a chipped tooth, don't panic, it happens to everyone. Visit your dentist right away if it causes pain, as it constitutes as a dental emergency. If it is a tiny chip and does not cause any pain, or if you are not in a situation where you can visit your dentist, schedule a meeting as soon as possible. In the mean time, there are a few things you can do to help:
- Rinse your mouth with warm, salt water: This helps clean your mouth and prevent infections
- Take painkillers to relieve pain: If the pain of a chipped tooth is unbearable, taking over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or aspirin can help.
- Use an ice pack on your face: If you feel a swelling coming on, use an ice pack and ice the damaged area of your face to reduce the swelling.
- Cover the chipped area: A chipped tooth may have sharp edges that can cut your tongue or the inside of your mouth. Use dental cement or sugarless gum to cover up the sharp area to prevent further damage.
Unfortunately, a chipped tooth is not something you can fix at your home, nor does it fix itself no matter how small the chip is. The most important thing to remember is that the above suggestions are only temporary solutions to a chipped tooth. Visit your dentist as soon as possible to get your chipped tooth fixed thorugh proper dental procedures.
Contact a Farmington CT Dentist Today
If you have cracked, chipped, or broken tooth, or any other dental emergencies, contact us today. Our dentists Dr. Nadeau and Dr. Krause are experts in dealing with all general and cosmetic dentistry services. Call us today at 860-676-2288 or schedule an appointment!