People can experience several dental problems in their lifetime. But one dental problem that people often neglect is a chipped tooth.
Many people see a chipped tooth as simply an aesthetic concern. However, you don’t want your chipped tooth to be left untreated, as it could lead to further problems. Here’s why you should always go to a dentist when you chip a tooth.
Why You Should Repair a Chipped Tooth
To provide more context, there are a few things that can result in a chipped tooth. You can chip your tooth after biting something too hard or having an injury. It could also come from teeth grinding at night or tooth decay.
A chipped tooth means that a piece of enamel has broken off the rest of your tooth. This can leave your tooth exposed to bacteria that can cause additional damage.
Some people may disregard a visit to the dentist because the chipped tooth may be painless or seem minor. However, a chipped tooth means a weaker tooth, increasing the risk of further breakage. You may even lose your tooth if there is too much structural damage.
What Happens to an Untreated Chipped Tooth?
Several things can happen if you don’t get your chipped tooth treated as soon as possible. Your tooth can become more sensitive or broken. A chipped tooth could also lead to cuts in your mouth and infection.
As a piece of your tooth has been broken off, it can become weaker and more sensitive. And with some of the protective enamel gone, your tooth’s inner nerves become exposed. This can make you sensitive to heat, cold, pressure, and sweet and acidic food and beverages.
When you chip your tooth, your tooth becomes sharp and jagged. This sharpness in your tooth can lead to you cutting your tongue, cheeks, or gums when chewing or moving your jaw. These wounds can make it uncomfortable for you to eat or talk.
One of the most concerning consequences of an untreated chipped tooth is an infection. Since your tooth becomes more exposed, bacteria can easily get in and result in an infection. Infection may lead to toothaches and even root canals or tooth extractions.
A small chip may not seem that much at first, but that tooth becomes weaker once you chip it. With a weakened structure, the rest of your tooth could break apart, especially when you chew on something hard. If your tooth completely breaks, you’ll have to get it restored, which can be a more extensive treatment than just fixing a chipped tooth.
How Do Dentists Treat a Chipped Tooth
Here’s what you can expect when you see a dentist to treat your chipped tooth. First, they’ll need to file down the tooth to smoothen the jagged edges. Once they have a smoother surface to work on, the dentist can start to rebuild the tooth. They typically use a strong dental bonding from composite resin to do this. The dental bonding also blends in with your tooth color to not stand out that much.
However, if the damage is too extensive, the dentist may need to restore your tooth with a crown, veneer, or onlay. If the damage reaches the tooth pulp or roots, you may need to get a root canal before getting a dental crown to extract the infected tissue. And for extreme damage, your dentist might recommend tooth extraction and a dental implant.
A chipped tooth is not an issue to be ignored. It’s not just simply an aesthetic problem. It could also lead to tooth sensitivity, mouth cuts, infection, and a broken tooth if untreated. Treating a chipped tooth is easy and can be rebuilt with strong dental bonding. However, if left untreated for too long, you may need more extensive treatments such as dental crowns, root canals, and extractions.
Get your chipped tooth fixed with the help of Shallowford Family Dental. We are dentists in Chattanooga dedicated to providing our patients with the best care possible. Our multi-doctor team creates a healthy environment of experience and expertise that benefits every patient. Set an appointment now!