Chipping or cracking a tooth is something that is relatively common with adults and children alike. While enamel is an incredibly strong substance biting hard substances such as ice can easily cause damage and chip your teeth. Teeth grinding and tooth decay can also cause your teeth to break or chip. And, while it may be tempting to just ignore a chipped tooth, especially if it is a back tooth, in this article we’ll look at the reasons why you shouldn’t ignore it.
The first and most obvious thing you’ll probably notice about a chipped tooth is a sharp or jagged edge. The sharp edges of a broken tooth can cause you to cut your tongue, cheeks and gums. The broken tooth will also be more susceptible to plaque and decay.
Increase in sensitivity
A chipped tooth will likely cause an increase in your teeth’s sensitivity making it hard to enjoy hot and cold drinks and certain foods. If the chip, crack or break is particularly bad then this can also lead to food collecting and causing bad breath.
Can lead to a dental abscess
As anyone that has had a dental abscess will know, they can be extremely painful and radiate out to the ear, jaw and neck. Chipping or breaking a tooth will make you much more susceptible to getting a dental abscess, particularly if the chip or crack is deep.
Weakens your teeth
Once you chip or break a tooth it is easy for the damage to get worse. Cracks and chips weaken your teeth and depending on where the damage is this can lead to a range of dental problems which will just get worse over time.
When should you get a chipped tooth repaired?
As soon as you notice any damage to your teeth you should contact your dentist and book an appointment. The longer you leave a broken or chipped tooth, the more likely it is that it will lead to problems that will not only cost you more money but could cause major discomfort.
How easy is it to fix a chipped tooth?
Depending on the severity of the chip or damage it could be as simple as smoothing the edges of a tooth or as involved as fixing a dental crown. It will be a lot easier for your dentist to fix the problem shortly after you have chipped, cracked or broken a tooth then it would be if you ignored it and waited until it became an issue.
How to help prevent a chipped tooth
While accidents do happen there are plenty of ways to help protect your teeth from damage. If you play sports such as rugby, cricket or any contact sport then a protective mouthguard can help keep your teeth safe.
For those who like hard sweets and crunching down on ice, it’s maybe time to start rethinking your habits. While the occasional hard-boiled sweet as a treat is fine, regularly eating these can cause damage to your teeth so they are best avoided. As for chewing ice, this is definitely a habit to kick.
Finally, good dental hygiene will help to ensure that your teeth are in good condition and regular dental check-ups will help to spot any issues before they become more serious.