Chipped Broken Teeth
The teeth in your mouth are exceedingly strong, but sometimes, whether it’s from injury or biting down on something hard, like a nut, teeth can chip or break. Chipped teeth can cause pain, and it usually occurs when the biting pressure is released rather than biting down. However, sometimes, chips are minor and might go unnoticed.
If you have a chipped or broken tooth you can notice, it’s essential to visit a dentist as soon as possible. By catching and treating dental issues from the get-go, you can avoid other potential problems later.
WHAT CAUSES CHIPPED TEETH?
Human teeth are designed to withstand all kinds of pressure, weight and stress. However, excessive force brought on by certain habits or accidents can cause teeth to break or crack. Some of the most common causes of broken or cracked teeth are:
- Tooth clenching and grinding
- Biting on hard food
- Habits like pen-chewing
- Car accidents
- Extra-large fillings
- Accidents or falls
- Sports-related trauma
Chipped Tooth Repair Treatment
Enlisting the help of a professional for any tooth concerns — especially broken or cracked teeth — is imperative. The sooner you seek professional dental treatment and find out about your treatment options, the quicker and less expensive treatment will be. During your dental exam, the dentist will check for damage and signs of tooth wear.
Treatment for your cracked tooth will vary depending on the severity of the damage. If only a small piece chipped off, you might only need one visit with your dentist. A broken tooth, on the other hand, may require more than one visit. Our team at Gateway Dentistry Group can repair a chipped or broken tooth with the following treatments:
- Dental crowns: If a large portion of your tooth chips off or breaks, the dentist may file the remaining part of the tooth and cover it with a crown. A crown can be made from various materials including metal, ceramic, resin or porcelain fused to metal. If the entire tooth is gone but the root remains, the dentist may perform a root canal and put a post in the canal. Later, the dentist will cement the crown over the post.
- Dental filling or bonding: For a small chip, you might just need a filling to repair the damage. If the repair is needed for a front tooth, however, your dentist will likely use a tooth-coloured composite resin that bonds to your tooth.
What to Do If You Experience a Chipped Tooth
You can take immediate action to increase the likelihood of a smooth chipped tooth repair. If you notice a broken tooth or experience any tooth pain, make sure you collect all pieces of the tooth, if possible. Rinse your mouth out with warm water, and if there is bleeding, apply pressure with cool, wet gauze. Bite down on the gauze gently to keep it in place. You can also take ibuprofen or acetaminophen as needed to reduce pain.
You may also want to hold an ice pack wrapped in a towel or washcloth to your cheek to help reduce swelling. You’ll then want to call your dentist to schedule an appointment as soon as you can. Symptoms to watch out for are swelling of the gums, fever, continued pain or change in the colour of the tooth. Our team at Gateway Dentistry Group provides dental emergency treatment for conditions such as swelling, knocked out teeth or chipped teeth.
If a tooth is knocked completely out, make sure to:
- Find the tooth and get in touch with your dentist right away. If your child lost their tooth and you are not sure whether it is a baby or adult tooth, check the edges. You’ll find smooth edges on baby teeth.
- Be sure to avoid grabbing the tooth by the root. Use the crown, or the “chewing” part of the tooth, instead.
- Store the tooth in milk, saline solution or a little bit of saliva. Avoid storing the tooth in tap water.
- If your mouth is bleeding, bite down on a handkerchief or a gauze pad to stop the bleeding and to also help relieve pain.
Other Gateway Dentistry Group Services
At Gateway Dentistry Group in Grande Prairie, we offer a variety of dental services for our patients. Whether you are experiencing a cracked tooth or have other needs or concerns, our team provides the following services:
- Cleanings and examinations
- Sedation dentistry
- Fillings and sealants
- Wisdom teeth extraction
- Mouth and night guards
- Teeth whitening
- Invisalign® clear aligners
- Periodontal surgery
- Dental implants
- Pediatric dental treatment
- Dental emergencies
- Dental crowns and bridges
- Invisalign clear braces
- Dysport and botox
- Sleep apnea appliances