At one point or another, almost everybody has chipped a tooth. Chipping a tooth does not always hurt, but it is always important to take care of the situation right away. Luckily, treating a chipped tooth is easy with the dental professionals at Lovett Dental Gulfgate.
What Causes a Chipped Tooth?
All of your teeth are naturally covered by a hard substance known as enamel. This covering usually does a great job protecting your teeth from fracturing or chipping. Sometimes, however, enamel fails to do its job, which results in a chipped or broken tooth. A tooth can get chipped for a variety of reasons, but some of the most common causes include excessive grinding, an accidental blow to the mouth, and poor dental hygiene that requires teeth cleaning.
Certain Foods and Drinks
Chewing a lot of hard foods can also cause a chipped tooth. If you love munching on ice, for example, then you can weaken the enamel over time. As the enamel becomes weak, your teeth are less able to protect themselves from incidental contact. Contact sports that would normally be no problem become high-risk behaviors. Something as simple as a friendly game of soccer can quickly result in a painful trip to the dentist.
Acidic drinks, including coffee and orange juice, can also weaken your enamel and make your teeth more likely to fracture or chip. Your mouth’s natural bacteria feed off of sugar, so eating a lot of sweets can lead to decay and a weaker protective covering.
Natural Wear and Tear
Whenever we end up treating a chipped tooth here at Lovett Dental, it is usually one of the lower molars. The molars are subject to a lot of natural wear because they are the teeth that people tend to use the most when they are chewing, and eating sugary or acidic foods can leave these teeth with fragile enamel. Teeth that have fillings can also be more likely to chip. Luckily, Lovett Dental also provides services for lost fillings as well.
Treating a chipped tooth isn’t usually difficult, but it’s much better to avoid having to deal with this situation in the first place.
Is a Chipped Tooth Painful?
Generally speaking, a chipped tooth can be quite painful whenever you put pressure or incidental contact on it. If you have a chipped tooth, then it can be quite a nuisance to avoid chewing with one whole side of your mouth. In addition, you’ll also need to make sure not to accidentally bite down while you are walking around or performing other everyday activities. The gums around the tooth can also become irritated, and the damaged tooth can even end up scratching your tongue. In the most extreme cases, you can also experience potential nerve damage if the chip is close enough to expose the nerves to the air.
Strategies for Treating a Chipped Tooth
A chipped tooth is usually a pretty minor condition, and the good news is that there are several ways to deal with the situation. If you aren’t able to get a dentist right away, then you can start by taking over-the-counter painkillers to ease the pressure.
If you feel your mouth becoming inflamed, then you can also put an icepack on the nearest area of your face to help ease any swelling. It should go without saying, but you obviously want to avoid using the chipped tooth to chew. If you need to drink any liquids before you see the dentist, then keep them as far away from the damaged tooth as possible. In the most extreme cases, even using a straw will put a painful amount of pressure on the tooth. When you have the chance to come in and see a professional, they will usually end up treating the chipped tooth by attaching porcelain dental veneers or by reattaching the chipped fragment.
Here at Lovett Dental, we see a lot of patients come into our Gulfgate location with chipped, fractured, and even broken teeth. If you need to make an appointment to treat a chipped tooth, we are here to help. We also offer a variety of other general dentistry services, including oral hygiene services, teeth whitening services, and emergency dental services.
Our knowledgeable team of dental professionals is available six days per week, so give Lovett Dental Gulfgate a call today at 832.501.3191.