Causes and remedies when you have chipped teeth
Although enamel is hard but it can also be chipped if you have a habit of grinding your teeth, eating hard food, trauma, etc. When teeth are chipped, you need to find ways to handle them early before the teeth or gums become infected.
Why are teeth chipped?
Teeth can be chipped for any reason. Some common causes of chipped-tooth are:
- Biting hard objects
- Falling or having a traffic accident
- Injured while playing sports
- Grinding teeth while sleeping
Weak teeth have a higher risk of chipping than other healthy teeth. Factors that can make your teeth weak and lead to chipping are:
- Over 50 years old
- Tooth decay
- Eating lots of sugar
- A tooth that has been filled
- Eating disorders
- The habit of grinding teeth
- Excessive use of alcohol
- Having acid reflux disease or heartburn
- Eating foods which can stimulate acid production such as fruit juice, coffee, and spicy foods.
How to handle a chipped tooth
When you have a chipped tooth, you need to go to the dentist as soon as possible to check the oral conditions. Depending on the condition of the tooth, the dentist will advise the following solutions:
1. Dental fillings
The dentist will restore the shape of your teeth by using composite resin or porcelain material to fill in the chipped tooth. After filling, the dentist will use ultraviolet light to dry the fillings and continue to adjust until the tooth reaches the desired shape. A filled-tooth can last up to 10 years.
2. Dental crown
If your teeth are chipped too much or your dental caries is heavy, you may need to get a dental crown. When performing the procedure, the dentist will grind part of the tooth and make a crown to capture the chipped tooth. Crowns can be made from metal, porcelain, resin, precious metals, etc. Each crown has its own advantages and disadvantages, so you may want to consult your dentist to pick the most suitable crown.
You will usually have to go to the dentist. At the first visit, the dentist will take X-rays to check the surrounding teeth and bones. If there is no problem, the dentist will perform anesthesia and then sharpen your teeth and wear a temporary crown. During the second visit, the dentist will remove it and attach the permanent one.
3. Dental veneer
If a front tooth is broken or chipped, a dental veneer can make it look whole and healthy again. To prepare for this procedure, the dentist will remove from about 0.3 to 1.2 millimeters of enamel from its surface. The dentist will then make an impression of the tooth to make a suitable veneer. When the veneer is ready, your dentist will help you place it in your teeth.
4. Root canal therapy
If the tooth is severely damaged, the pulp is exposed, bacteria from the mouth can invade and cause infection. Signs that the affected pulp is painful, discolored or sensitive to heat. If this condition persists, the pulp will die and you may have to have your teeth extracted.
If you find that the pulp has been affected, you will need to remove the damaged pulp and clean the root to protect the tooth. This procedure will usually not be too painful because you will be anesthetized.
How to take care of chipped teeth
When your teeth are chipped, you may have very uncomfortable aches and pains. Thus, you need to find ways to take care of your teeth besides visiting the dentist. Some ways you can apply to dental care are:
- Take painkillers: You can take ibuprofen pain relievers (a.k.a Advil, Motrin IB)
- Gargle salt water: Salt water can help clean your mouth to prevent infection. Besides rinsing, you can also use dental floss to clean your teeth so that there is no food debris in your mouth.
- Choose soft foods: Soft foods will help reduce pain when eating. In addition, you should also avoid chewing by your chipped teeth.
In the case of chipped teeth, you can go to the dentist to visit and choose the appropriate treatment methods such as dental fillings, crowns, veneer, etc. These procedures are not too complicated or painful and they can help you protect your oral health really well.