Tooth chipping can be the result of several causes. Teeth are highly susceptible to damage from accidents, particularly if they sustain trauma from a collision or a fall. Additionally, sports injuries or even biting nails or chewing on hard foods can cause chips to develop.
What Should I Do If I Chip My Tooth?
Any dental injury should be examined as soon as possible. By following these simple steps, you can minimize the risk of further damage before you see your emergency dentist.
- Try to stop the bleeding
If your chip is bleeding, you may have to put pressure on the area. For instance, you can put gauze or a clean cloth over the chipped tooth and apply pressure for 10 to 15 minutes. If the bleeding continues, call your dentist.
- Rinse your mouth with warm water and salt
You can also rinse your mouth with salt water. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water. Swish the solution around in your mouth for 30 seconds, then spit it out. Repeat the rinsing procedure a few times. This will help remove any food debris left behind from the chipped tooth. Also, the salt helps disinfect the area and can provide relief to the sensitive gum tissue surrounding the exposed root.
- Apply a cold pack to the outside of the mouth
Apply a cold pack to the outside of the mouth in the area of the cheek. The cold pack helps the cheek to heal.
- Apply light pressure with a clean gauze
If you are experiencing pain, apply light pressure with clean gauze to the affected tooth. You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help relieve any discomfort. You should also be sure to refrain from eating hard, crunchy foods for the next few days.
- Seek medical attention
After a tooth breaks or cracks, the nerves and blood vessels likely become damaged. This means that you may start to experience pain. However, if you do not feel pain, it is still important to still see your doctor. Your doctor will be able to assess the health of your teeth and determine if you need specialized care.
Treatments For A Chipped Tooth
The first step to treating a chipped tooth is to schedule an appointment with your dentist. He or she will examine your tooth and let you know the best way to treat it. If a chip is very small, your dentist may polish it to smooth it out. If the chip affects more of the tooth, your dentist may recommend the following procedures:
Porcelain fillings can be used to treat minor cracks and chips in your teeth. A porcelain filling can be made to match the color of your natural teeth. These dental fillings are durable enough to withstand normal chewing and biting.
- Dental bonding
For minor cases of enamel loss, your dentist may recommend a dental bonding treatment. Dental bonding uses a resin material to bond cracks and chips in teeth together, allowing the tooth to remain intact.
- Dental crowns
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a tooth to restore its shape, size, and strength. Dental crowns are used when a tooth is too damaged to be fixed with a dental filling but is still intact enough to support a dental crown.
- Dental veneers
Dental veneers are thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length. Veneers may be the ideal treatment option if you have teeth that are chipped, worn, broken, misaligned, or irregularly shaped.
To learn about our dental procedures, call Desert Mountain Dental at (520) 324-0100 and schedule an appointment or visit our Tucson dental office.