Teeth can hurt for a number of reasons, such as due to tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth sensitivity. But aside from those, teeth can also hurt from external damage, like chipped teeth. Having a chipped tooth is quite common for both adults and children. It can be acquired through a bit of contact and a small amount of bad luck, such as hitting your mouth when falling, biting into hard food, sports injuries, and weakened teeth by cavities. In addition to that, it can also be caused by teeth grinding or bruxism.
Having a chipped tooth is quite bothersome but can be easily fixed by dentists. In fact, they can repair it to the point that it’s almost impossible to tell that a chip ever existed. However, chipped teeth can mean different things for different people. This depends on a person’s ability to tolerate pain and how quickly he or she can respond to the chipped tooth by seeking the appropriate care from dentists.
If you suffer from a chipped tooth, it is important that you visit your dentist as soon as possible. It’s because if you wait, the tooth could become even more damaged. What’s worse is that it can be infected, leading to more serious risks and possible tooth loss.
Best Ways to Deal with a Chipped Tooth at Home
If you cannot rush to the dentist yet after your tooth has been chipped, there are a few self-care measures that you can follow. Here are some of them:
- Take some pain reliever: You can first blunt the pain by taking over-the-counter pain relievers, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
- Saltwater: You can also rinse your mouth with saltwater to reduce the risk of infection.
- Press: If you see any bleeding in your mouth as a result of a chipped tooth, you can use a piece of gauze to apply pressure to the area.
- Cover with chewing gum: If the damage has caused your tooth to have a jagged or sharp edge, you can cover it with a piece of sugar-free chewing gum to protect your tongue and cheek.
- Eat soft food:It is also better to eat softer foods if you have a chipped tooth. Do not bite down on the damaged tooth as it can get worse.
- Use Dentemp: This is a product you can use to temporarily treat chipped teeth until you can see a dentist.
Different Ways Dentists Can Fix a Chipped Tooth
Dentists can treat a chipped tooth in different ways, depending on the severity of the damage. For example, if there’s only a small portion of enamel that has been broken, a dentist can most likely repair it in just one visit. However, if you have a badly damaged tooth, it may require a more expensive procedure that could take more than one visit to the dentist. To give you some ideas, here are the different ways dentists can fix a chipped tooth:
Bonding or Filling
If only a small enamel of your tooth has been chipped away, your dentist will be able to repair it by applying a filling. However, if it occurred to a front tooth, your dentist may fix the damage by applying a tooth-colored composite resin. This process is called bonding. It is a simple procedure that does not require the use of any numbing agent.
Bonding is done by etching the surface of the tooth using a special gel or liquid. After that, an adhesive substance will be applied, followed by the resin. After the dentist shaped the resin to match your natural tooth, the dentist will harden the material using ultraviolet light.
A dentist can make a chipped front tooth look healthy and flawless by applying a dental veneer. It is a thin shell of tooth-colored resin composite material or porcelain. They are specially created and customized in a lab to match your specific needs. Dental veneers are applied over the surface of your existing tooth using special cement.
Dental Cap or Crown
If a largeportion of your tooth has been lost, your dentist can file away the part of the remaining tooth and cap it with a crown, which can protect the tooth and improve its aesthetic appearance. However, if the damage is severe enough to expose the pulp within the tooth, it can lead to pulp damage or infection. When this happens, the dentist may have to remove the dying pulp via root canal therapy. After that, the dentist will cap the tooth with a crown.
If the chipped tooth has become loose or displaced, the dentist can bond the cracked tooth to the tooth next to it. This will help keep it stable while the surrounding bone and gum tissue recovers.
There are indeed many ways on how to deal with a chipped tooth. There are remedies that you can do at home if the damage is not that big. However, it is still very important to visit your dentist right away if a chipped tooth occurs. This way, it will be treated immediately and prevent more serious dental problems.