Any impact, dealt at the right angle and with the right degree of bad luck, can chip teeth or damage fillings – even whole teeth. Although the enamel that covers your teeth is the hardest, most mineralized tissue in the body, its strength has limits - particularly if a tooth already has some decay or underlying damage.
If you discover you have a broken or chipped tooth, it is almost always a good idea to see your dentist shortly after the injury, there are many things your dentist can do to fix it and prevent further damage. A chipped or broken tooth can be a dental emergency requiring immediate attention. For Calgary residents, Abougoush Family Dental Care makes alleviating your pain and treating your dental emergency our top priority.
Teeth can chip and break along the edges where the enamel is brittle and slivers can cleave off with the right impact. Front teeth are especially at risk from impact injuries while hard foods, like candy or bones hidden inside food, are generally responsible. Prior dental work can also weaken teeth over time, making them more inclined to chip.
If your tooth is broken, chipped, or fractured, see your dentist as soon as possible. Place it under your tongue until you can get to a dentist for a repair. In the meantime, try the following self-care measures:
- If the tooth is painful, take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Rinse your mouth with salt water. Clove oil has also been used by dentists for centuries for its antibacterial and numbing properties.
- If the break has caused a sharp or jagged edge, cover it with a piece of wax paraffin or sugarless chewing gum to keep it from cutting your tongue or the inside of your lip or cheek.
- Eat soft foods and avoid biting down on the broken tooth.
Treatment for a broken or chipped tooth will depend on how severely it is damaged. If only a small piece of enamel broke off, the repair can usually be done simply in one office visit. If your tooth is very sensitive to hot, cold, or even air, the tooth’s inner layer may be exposed and, if you can see a little redness inside the broken tooth, the nerve chamber might be exposed, requiring a more lengthy and costly procedure.
If you have experienced trauma to your mouth, a chip, crack, or broken tooth - it is always a good idea to seek professional input. That crack running through the tooth may not be causing problems now, but may chip or break later. X-rays may be needed to check whether there is damage to the root of the tooth, and you should watch signs of infection.
As for prevention, a custom-molded guard available in dentists’ offices like Abougoush Family Dental Care. Today they are less bulky and available in various colors. When eating, be mindful of what you are biting on. If you are gnawing on something really hard and you have to clamp down, listen to your body and back off to prevent chipped teeth.
If you have experienced a chip, crack, or broken tooth and require emergency dental care, or for information on any of Abougoush Family Dental Care’s comprehensive range of general preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry - contact us at 403-289-7370 today.