Enamel is the hardest and most mineralized substance in the body. However, it can become worn out or brittle too. A chipped or broken tooth happens when a part or parts of a tooth are fractured. It can either be a severe crack on the surface or just a small chip on the tooth. If it does not hurt or cause discomfort while chewing, drinking, and talking, should you let it be and ignore the problem?
When Do You Have a Chipped Tooth?
Although the teeth is supposed to be strong and resilient, a tooth breaking can still happen and there can be a lot of reasons why you can have a chipped tooth. Usually, a tooth gets broken when you eat hard foods like hard candy and crunchy foods. Some people will have chipped tooth due to physical injuries. There may also be old fillings or the tooth was previously restored and may require attention. Most of the time, the cause is that the tooth has cavities that made it brittle and worn out.
Dangers of Ignoring a Chipped Tooth
In situations where a broken tooth occurs, it is best that immediate action is taken because there are certain dangers that can happen if you choose to ignore it. It is not only about restoring the appearance of your teeth but more on safeguarding yourself against further damage.
Pressure and Temperature Sensitivity
A chipped tooth can occur if the tooth has weakened due to decay. When it cracks, it may expose the nerve and will become sensitive even to the smallest pressure. Even an indirect pressure, such as when moving the mouth, can cause immense pain. Also, because the outer structure is broken and the root or nerve is exposed, drinking either hot or cold beverages would also cause you to experience shooting pain.
Infection May Occur
Once the inner structure of a chipped tooth is exposed, it becomes vulnerable to cavities and infections. An abscess may form or the nerve can be damaged. This is extremely dangerous and can be potentially life-threatening if not treated by a qualified dentist.
Can Cause Cuts and Abrasions Inside the Mouth
A chipped tooth does not have a clean break on the edges. There might be some parts that can be jagged and sharp. If so, you might cut your tongue and other parts of the oral cavity, such as the inner cheeks.
Chipped Tooth Repair
Depending on the severity of the chipped tooth, there are various treatments that can be done to repair the damage. A dental filling may be put in place to halt further damage. A cracked tooth may be covered with a dental crown in order to protect the nerve. But for severe damage, where the tissue is already infected and there may be a need to remove the affected nerve, a root canal procedure should be performed.
Never Ignore A Chipped Tooth!
With all the dangers cited, it is never a good idea to ignore a chipped or broken tooth. It may look or feel normal to you but the truth is that you are exposing yourself to more danger. Let an experienced dentist decide whether you need a simple fix or other dental emergency procedures to completely repair a chipped tooth.