What is a broken or chipped tooth?
A broken or chipped tooth is a tooth that is missing all or part of its crown. Teeth may become fractured for a variety of reasons, including trauma, grinding, clenching, decay, or even a loose filling. Common causes of chipped or broken teeth are:
- Chewing ice, hard candy, nuts, popcorn kernels, and other hard foods
- Clenching or grinding teeth (bruxism)
- Practicing such contact sports as martial arts, wrestling, football, etc
- Using teeth as a tool to open bottles, packages; to break tape and tag
What causes broken or chipped teeth?
If you have suffered from any of the following problems that could result in teeth breaking, contact us for a consultation
- Eating something hard, like hard candy
- Sports injuries
- Trauma from an accident (commonly car accidents)
- Cavities that are not treated
- Older fillings causing tooth structural problems
In addition, the following are potential risk factors for a broken tooth:
- Teeth Grinding
- Tooth decay
- Eating acidic foods
Repairs to Cracked or Broken Teeth
Dental bonding may be used to repair simple chips or cracks. In some instances, a bonding material is applied to the damaged parts of the tooth, and they are bonded back together again. In other cases, the chip may need to be filled in with a composite resin. This tooth colored material restores the tooth to its natural look and feel.
When a tooth is damaged to the point where the pulp is involved, root canal therapy may be required to avoid extraction. In these situations, the nerve of the tooth is removed and the area is sterilized and sealed off. The tooth is then fitted with a dental crown. The crown not only restores the natural look of the tooth, but it also adds stability, protection and strength.
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What are the symptoms and risks of having a broken or chipped tooth?
If your tooth is broken or chipped, you may experience discomfort on chewing, irritation to the gum, lips or tongue caused by a sharp tooth structure, and increased sensitivity due to dentine or nerve exposure. Since the tooth has become weakened, there is a risk that the tooth will become further damaged.
What can I do until I see a dentist?
Until you are able to see a dentist, you should keep the area clean by rinsing with salt water and avoid chewing on the affected side. If you are in pain, you can also take an anti-inflammatory , unless you are allergic.
What will the dentist do?
This will depend on the reason for the breakage and the extent of the damage. Typically, the dentist can restore a broken or chipped tooth using filling material. If the damage is extensive, a root canal or even an extraction may be indicated. If you have a minor chip, it may not be necessary to do anything.
Eliminate Minor Tooth Imperfections with Dental Bonding
If you are unhappy with small cracks, chips, or discolourations, or have disproportionately sized teeth, Our cosmetic dentists offer dental bonding treatments. This fast and effective procedure repairs minor tooth damage to help you achieve the smile you have always wanted. To learn more about how we can enhance the appearance of your teeth through dental bonding.