Chipped teeth can range anywhere from small cosmetic chips to a more severe break. It can sometimes be hard to tell the severity of the chip right away. Treatment options can vary greatly, depending on the condition of your tooth and how bad the chip is. But what’s crucial is that you take care of the chip right away.
Enamel is one of the hardest substances in the body. But even enamel can break sometimes. Chipped teeth can happen as a result of trauma from falls or if you’re playing contact sports without a mouthguard. Grinding your teeth can cause full chips to come off, or you may just bite down wrong on something hard, like ice or hard candy.
Risk Factors for Chipped Teeth
Certain things can make you more susceptible to chipped teeth. It makes sense that teeth that are weaker are more likely to break. Naturally, our tooth enamel starts to wear down over time. As we get older, we’re more likely to chip a tooth. Teeth are softer, and you’re seeing more of the dentin layer that’s underneath.
Anything that compromises your tooth enamel is going to weaken your teeth and make them more likely to fracture. Cavities are holes in the enamel, and large dental fillings may also make the teeth weaker. If you’re eating a lot of sugar, bacteria are feeding off of it and releasing acid. Acidic foods and drinks like lemonade or soda weaken the enamel, too.
Acid is one of the most dangerous things for tooth enamel. Conditions like acid reflux and heartburn bring acid up into the mouth frequently. Eating disorders bring acid up as well. If you’re frequently throwing up and purging, acid is consistently coming up into your mouth and hitting your teeth.
Which Tooth is Most Susceptible to Chipping?
All of your teeth are technically susceptible to chipping. But studies have shown that certain teeth are more likely to chip than others. The second lower molar seems to be a target for chipping, as it takes on a decent amount of pressure when you’re biting and chewing. Any tooth that’s had fillings is more susceptible to chipping as well.
What Do I Do if I Chip a Tooth?
If you chip a tooth, it’s important to avoid panicking. If you’re able to, salvage the piece of the tooth that’s broken off. Put it in a cup of milk or saliva to increase how long it’s viable for replacement. A chip can leave sharp edges on your tooth, endangering your tongue and cheek tissue. Put something like sugar-free gum or dental wax over the sharp edges to avoid cuts.
Make sure you avoid chewing with the tooth that’s chipped. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever and ice the area if you’re experiencing pain. Even if it’s a smaller chip, you want to make an appointment to get it seen. You don’t want to cause further damage or develop an infection because the interior of your tooth is exposed.
Treating Chipped Teeth in Timonium, MD
At our office, we offer various treatment methods to ensure your tooth is repaired properly. Call our office or schedule an appointment online.