Should You See a Dentist if You Have a Chipped Tooth?

An individual with a chipped tooth

Should You See a Dentist if You Have a Chipped Tooth?

Sometimes life throws unexpected things at us, and one of those things can be a cracked or chipped tooth. Although it may seem like a minor nuisance, cracked and chipped teeth could develop into more serious problems like tooth decay and even tooth loss. Learn more about available treatment options for cracked and chipped teeth, as well as when it’s the right time to call your dentist

What Happens When You Chip Your Tooth?

Falling, chewing on something hard, and receiving an accidental blow to the face can all result in a chipped or cracked tooth. Our teeth are covered and protected by tooth enamel, which is the strongest part of the tooth. But enamel is not indestructible, and our teeth can get damaged from trauma, especially if decay is already present. 

Cracked and chipped teeth usually show various symptoms, including pain while chewing and pain with hot and cold temperature exposure. 

Can I Leave My Chipped Tooth Alone?

If you notice a chip in one of your teeth, you might be tempted to ignore it. However, while some small chips and cracks may be fine to leave alone, others can lead to more serious problems like further damage, infection, and even tooth loss. So if you suspect your tooth may be chipped or cracked, it’s best to see a dentist right away. 

Chipped and Cracked Tooth Treatment

After you’ve made an appointment with your dentist, there are a couple of things you can do at home to alleviate unpleasant symptoms:

  • If you’re experiencing pain, you can take acetaminophen or any other over-the-counter pain reliever. You can also gargle with saltwater.
  • If your tooth has a sharp and jagged edge due to the chip, you can cover it with a piece of sugar-free gum to protect your mouth. 
  • Try to avoid eating with the damaged tooth until you see your dentist. 

These temporary treatments can help keep you comfortable until you are able to see your dentist. 

Dental Repair Options for Cracked and Chipped Teeth

There are several things your dentist can do to fix a chipped or cracked tooth. The treatment option your dentist chooses will depend on the type and severity of the damage. Treatments can include:

  • Fillings: If you only chipped a small piece of your tooth enamel, your dentist can repair the damage with a filling. 
  • Bonding: If the tooth damage is on a tooth that’s visible in your smile, your dentist can use bonding to fix the problem. 
  • Crowns: If a crack in your tooth is deep, your dentist may choose to cap your tooth with a crown to hold the tooth together and prevent further damage. 
  • Dental veneers: If a front tooth is cracked or damaged, a veneer can help restore its appearance and prevent further damage. 
  • Root canal: If the chip or crack is deep enough to expose the tooth’s pulp, your dentist may perform a root canal to prevent infection and tooth loss. 

If you are uncertain of the seriousness of your tooth damage, it’s better to play it safe and call a dentist. Early dentist involvement can prevent further damage as well as more extensive and costly treatment.

Koch Aesthetic Dentistry in Birmingham, Alabama

Tooth cracks and chips may seem harmless but, if left untreated, can lead to infection and even tooth loss. If you notice a chip or crack in your tooth or if you’re experiencing dental pain, contact us for an appointment today.