Maybe you are munching on something crunchy, or being a little to aggressive with a piece of hard candy when after a click, you notice something hard in your mouth that you can’t seem to crush. You realize it’s a piece of your tooth, so you panic. Don’t worry, it happens.
Chipping a tooth is absolutely normal. Although our teeth are remarkably tough, they can still crack or break. This can happen for several reasons, such as when one has weak tooth caused by cavities and simply loves to chew down on something too hard. It is also highly possible when one gets hit in the face or mouth with a ball or trips and falls. Even your bad sleeping habits such as grinding or bruxism can cause breakage.
“Should I worry if it’s painful?”
Minor tooth fractures such as tooth chipping usually don’t cause pain. Your tongue just habitually feels the sharp area, so it will feel a little odd. If a large piece of the tooth breaks off, however, that’s when it can hurt pretty badly. This is because the nerve inside the tooth may already be damaged. In these rare cases, extreme discomfort happens because the nerve endings are totally exposed and become highly sensitive to hot or cold food or drinks and even the air. The pain may be constant or may come and go, and as such it is best to see your dentist to have it fixed.
“What can I do for the meantime?”
Although it is best that you see Dr. Gantz at Enhanced Dental Care immediately if you are experiencing pain, it might take a couple of days until you get into the office, especially if this happens on the weekend. So while waiting it out, try doing the following.
- Rinse your mouth with warm water.
- If there are any bleeding areas, apply pressure on it with a clean cloth or a piece of gauze for a few minutes or until the bleeding stops. For heavy bleeding, a wet tea bag applied on the bleeding area might help.
- To reduce swelling and relieve pain, you may apply a cold pack to the cheek or lips over the broken tooth.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
- You might also want to cover the part of the tooth that is left in your mouth with temporary dental cement which can be bought at the drug store.
- Avoid temperatures that set off the sensitivity you may feel from the exposed pulp.
Remedies at the dental office:
If you still have the chipped tooth, store it in milk and save it for the dentist. Here are the possible procedures that Dr. Gantz may take:
- Glue the fragment back on to the tooth.
- Without the fragment, the dentist can use a tooth-coloured filling material to build the tooth up.
- Build a crown.
- Install veneers.
- Root canal treatment but only with overly exposed nerves so that said nerve can be removed and placed with a root filling.
- Dental Implants
If you've got questions about a chipped tooth, don't hesitate to call our office at 509-525-9111 today! Our team of professionals in Walla Walla would love to see you.