After the party when you’re munching on ice when out of the blues, you realise there is a CRACK! That crack isn’t for the ice, it’s your tooth. OOPS!
Though the enamel of our teeth is really solid, durable and the most mineralised tissue in our body. But it has got its limits.
Stresses or trauma that can cause a chipped tooth include-
- Physical trauma to jaw or teeth after an accident
- Injury to teeth while playing
- Chomping something solid and hard
- Untreated dental cavities
- Bruxism (teeth crushing or jaw clenching)
- Old fillings, when the underlying human tooth
Some of the chipped teeth are totally harmless and don’t require any treatment. But if you noticed a few following symptoms, then your chipped tooth may require dental care.
- Pain when you chew or bite
- Swollen gums near the chipped tooth
- Sensitive Teeth
- Persistent pain in the gums
- Feeling a rough surface when you roll your tongue over the teeth
What makes our teeth prone to chipping
Usually, a week tooth is more susceptible to chipping. Dentist at HealthOne suggests that certain habits or food that can decrease the toughness of the tooth should be avoided.
- Grinding of teeth can eat away the enamel.
- Having a lot of acidic food like coffee, lemons, spicy food can also make enamel vulnerable to chipping.
- Acidic reflux that brings acidic content back to the esophagus and mouth damages tooth enamel.
- Extreme intake of alcohol, or eating disorders that can cause persistent vomiting, again can cause damage to the enamel.
- Sugar that remains stuck in teeth allows bacteria to attack the tooth enamel thereby weakening it.
- Aging leads to the weakened tooth. Tooth enamel strength gradually starts decreasing after the age of 50 years.
Treatments for a chipped tooth
As long as the chipped tooth is harmless and doesn’t cause pain while eating or sleeping, it doesn’t need any medical treatment. A minor break in the tooth needs simple levelling and polishing of the tooth. A major chip needs a bit of dental advice and treatment.
Reattachment of the fractured tooth
If possible to retain the fractured tooth, it should be reattached to the original remaining tooth. This method gives better aesthetics, lasts for a longer period and involves lesser complications to operate. It will help to preserve the calcium of the tooth. Call your dentist so he/she may able to fix the fragment back.
A ceramic resin (porcelain) is used to bond the fragmented part to the tooth’s surface. The resin is made hard by using UV lights. A bonded tooth can stay for up to 10 years.
Onlays are the dental refurbishments that are used for a tooth that have dental cavities. Dental Onlays are mostly used for molar teeth. If the cavity is too big for the Onlay, the dentist may suggest a full dental crown.
These dental Onlays can also last for 10 years but it demands great care as Onlays are prone to breakage.
Care for the chipped tooth
Chipped teeth, though many are harmless but needs self-care to make it last for longer.
- A temporary dental filling like a teabag, sugar-free gum should be placed. Your tongue and gums shouldn’t feel a rough surface.
- Take a prescribed pain reliever such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) if pain persists.
- Place an ice pack on the side of the face where the chipped tooth is causing trouble.
- Swipe mustard or clove oil around any painful gums to numb the area. You might feel the taste of mustard oil disgusting but it gives instant relief.
How to Prevent a Chipped Tooth?
Surely prevention is better than cure. Observe good healthy oral habits to prevent the chipping of teeth. That means no cavities and perfect sparkling teeth enamel.
Circumvent sugary snacks and drinks. Avoid chewing of ice and alcohols.
Still, if you cannot avoid candies try to keep them in mouth and let saliva dissolve them for you rather chewing.
Practice a healthy food diet full of nutrients and avoid junk food.
A chipped tooth if harmless and non-irritating needs a bit of self-care that can prevent further infection or irritation.
If it requires a dental concern, the sooner you get the treatment done the better it would be to avoid further dental problems.