My Tooth Is Chipped – Help!

How To Fix A Cracked Or Chipped Tooth

Having a cracked or chipped tooth is something a lot of people dread. You do your best to avoid accidents and prevent that from happening. However, accidents happen and will continue to, but dealing with a chipped tooth is less of an issue than it was years ago when you just had to deal with it and let it be. Today, with home remedies, treatments and prevention, there is a solution for each of your dental problems.

Cracked vs. Chipped Tooth – what’s the difference?

While they’re often used with the same meaning, there is a difference between these words. With a chipped tooth, you lose a piece of the tooth that was previously attached to the rest. While a small part of the tooth can be chipped off, there are cases when a huge chunk of a tooth gets chipped and leaves the roots exposed. Usually, you notice when your tooth is chipped.

A cracked tooth, on the other hand, is a bit tougher to notice. It usually means that there is a divide happening in the tooth that you can barely see. A cracked tooth is not as painful as a chipped one, but it may become with time since the crack can deepen and cause tooth loss.

How Do Teeth Get Chipped?

In various ways. You would actually be surprised! Even though your pearly whites are one of the strongest parts of your body, they can get chipped by innocent activities like eating, shivering, or even kissing! But mostly, every cracked tooth starts with a bigger issue – an already weak tooth.

What Weakens Teeth (Risk Factors)

There has been an increase in cracks and chipped teeth in the last decade, and according to this study, molars and premolars are the most commonly cracked or chipped. That might be because of the inability to clean them properly. A lot of people have a small jaw and proper brushing is made more difficult, making molars and premolars prone to decay and other issues, like chipping or cracking.

Other risk factors that can weaken the teeth are:

  • Bruxism;
  • Eating hard foods (candy, popcorn, etc.);
  • Untreated decay;
  • Acid Reflux;
  • Gum disease;
  • Age – your enamel weakens with age.

The Symptoms

Noticing a chipped tooth, especially in the front, is pretty simple and the only tool you need to examine this is your tongue. The back could be a bit tricky, so here’s what you should pay attention to:

  • Do you feel a rough or uneven edge on the surface of the tooth when you run your tongue over it?
  • Is your tongue irritated from rubbing against the tooth’s surface?
  • Are your gums irritated around one tooth?
  • Do you feel pain when biting or putting pressure on the tooth?
  • Do you experience a sudden sensitivity to cold foods and drinks?

What To Do When You Chip A Tooth?

It’s completely normal to be in shock If that happens, but don’t let the shock keep you from taking action. You must remain calm and take the next steps:

  1. Find the piece you’re missing. Pick it up by the crown and put it in saliva or milk. You will take this to the dentist.
  2. Take a sugarless gum, a teabag, or dental wax and place it over the tooth. This will prevent the rough edges from hurting the rest of your mouth.
  3. Take a pain reliever. If you must eat, eat soft food.

Make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, floss, rinse with saltwater and avoid hard food.

The Treatments

When you finally arrive at your dentist’s office, they can determine what kind of treatment is necessary. Based on the size, location, and the type of damage, they will create a recovery plan. Here are the options you will likely have.

Reattachment

In some cases, this can be done. The dentist cements the missing piece back. This is usually the most cost-effective option. The results of his treatment are shown to last, but in most cases, this is not an option.

Reshaping

An extremely small tooth chip can often be repaired by reshaping the affected area, which involves polishing and smoothing it. It’s an easy, inexpensive, and usually a painless procedure that should only take one visit.

Filling

This one is for bigger chips and problems. Your dentist will fill the hole or crack left if the piece of the tooth can’t be reattached. It’s a fairly painless procedure.

Bonding

Dental bonding is when the composite resin is used to fill in the crack left. Your dentist will etch your tooth to roughen the surface first, which helps the resin adhere. It will be shaped to imitate your natural tooth and ultraviolet light will dry and harden the material. This option is also cost-effective since the results can last for up to 10 years.

Also, don’t worry, that bonding material can match the colour of your teeth!

Veneers

A veneer is another option available for larger chips or cracks that affect the front teeth. Your dentist smooths away a small portion of the tooth to prepare it for the veneer and then takes an impression. While you wait for your permanent veneer to be made and placed, you will be using a temporary veneer on your tooth.

Crown

Getting a crown is mostly recommended when a larger portion of the tooth breaks. It’s fitted on the top of your tooth and covers the missing enamel.

Implant

If your chip or crack is beyond repair, you will probably have to get your tooth extracted and have it replaced by an implant or a bridge instead.

Onlay

This is used on molars that lost a big portion or have a massive crack. They’re made of porcelain, zirconia or dental gold, created in a lab and placed on your tooth.

Root Canal Therapy

This one has an awesome success rate since the results can last for years. The biggest benefit of it is saving your natural tooth. So, even if it’s not the most comfortable treatment – it’s worth the effort.

Tooth Splint

If the tooth is cracked and not chipped, a splint can help. The damaged tooth can be bonded to a neighbouring healthy tooth, allowing the surrounding bone and gums to heal. It is especially effective for loose teeth.

How To Avoid It?

When it comes to cracks and chips, they can easily happen – well, because accidents happen. However, if you take care of your teeth and watch your enamel’s strength and work hard to prevent tooth decay and cavity, chances are your teeth will be less prone to cracking or chipping. If you think you’re at risk for tooth chipping and cracking – here are some things to keep in mind:

If you notice you’re grinding your teeth, visit your dentist. Bruxism can weaken your teeth to the point they crack, so try treating that first. Also, use a mouthguard if you’re about to enter a chip-possible activity. Watch your oral hygiene, never open packages with your teeth and avoid hard food! And if you ever need help and a dentist that will listen, give us a call.