What Is A Chipped Tooth? What Causes A Chipped Tooth?

Even though the enamel is the hardest substance in the body, this doesn’t mean your tooth isn’t at risk of chipping. A heavy collision or accident is a prime example of a tooth going through trauma and becoming chipped. Eventually, a chipped tooth can lead to tooth sensitivity, pain when chewing and becoming exposed to hot and cold temperatures. 

What Is A Chipped Tooth?

A chipped tooth results in a jagged tooth surface that causes sharp points to form and damages smiling confidence. The severity of a chipped tooth may not just be as light as a chip in the corner, the chip can also impact downwards and reach the tooth root. 

What Else May Cause A Chipped Tooth?

The possible causes of a chipped tooth include:

  • Dental Cavities – When a dental cavity forms, this means a tiny hole or opening has formed. This naturally weakens your teeth and can lead to multiple chips and deeper cracks, causing the tooth to break entirely.
  • Poor Hygiene – A chipped tooth can make you vulnerable to chips and cracks. With a poor oral routine, your enamel will become weaker, meaning there’s a greater chance of a chipped tooth forming.
  • Teeth Grinding – Teeth grinding is a condition where your teeth clench and grind together unconsciously. This can also cause significant chips in your teeth and is a condition that will need addressing.
  • Heavy Collision – Tooth trauma can be caused by a heavy collision, for example, when playing sports. This is very likely if you’re not wearing a dental mouthguard. 
  • Biting On Something Hard – If you’ve built up the habit of using your teeth when biting down on hard surfaces or ice, then you’re more than likely to experience a chipped tooth.

How Can A Chipped Tooth Be Treated?

How a chipped tooth can be treated is dependent on how severe the chip is. We’ll break the severity level down by minor, medium and major chips.

  • Treatments For A Minor Chip – A tooth can be polished and smoothed out if the chip is very small. This can be performed at a routine dental check-up.
  • Treatments For A Medium Chip – Dental fillings and dental crown treatments will be likely if a chip has caused some damage to your tooth enamel. Impact on your tooth enamel can cause problems to overall mouth functioning whilst compromising your appearance. 
  • Treatment For A Major Chip – The underlying nerves are likely to have been damaged, and the dentist would recommend root canal treatment to apply a crown around the tooth to protect it.

What Do I Do With A Chipped Tooth Before My Appointment?

If you’re awaiting an appointment and you have a chipped tooth, follow these steps in the meantime:

  • Rinse Your Mouth – Clear any debris from the mouth through a water rinse.
  • Apply Pressure To The Affected Area – If you have a gauze pad, bite down on it to stem any bleeding. The more pressure you apply the quicker the blood will stop.
  • Protect The Tooth – Bring the chipped tooth with you at your appointment. Keep it safe in a moist environment such as a container with milk, or cover it with dental cement which you can find at your local drug store.

If you’ve experienced a chipped tooth, a visit to the dentist is likely required.