Whether you eat something hard, something that has a gummy texture, or you enjoy foods that are extremely hot or cold in temperature, a chipped tooth is a possibility. This possibility increases if your teeth are weak because of a lack of oral hygiene or you aren’t getting the proper vitamins and minerals that keep your teeth strong. You could also chip a tooth if you’re playing a sport or if you’re in an accident. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to save your tooth so that it doesn’t have to be extracted.
The First Signs
Unless it’s a small piece, you’ll usually notice when part of your tooth chips off. You might feel a significant hole on one side of your tooth or feel something hard in your mouth while you’re eating, which would be the part of the tooth that has broken off. As soon as you realize that you have a chipped tooth, you need to make an appointment with your dentist to determine what can be done to save your tooth. If you experience any kind of pain, then you can take medications that you can get over the counter or ask your dentist for pain medication. Warm compresses on the side of your mouth help as well with any swelling that might occur.
Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to remove as much bacteria as possible. Keep the tooth clean by brushing at least twice a day to prevent any food from building inside the chipped tooth. Wax can be placed on any sharp edges to protect your gums and the inside of your mouth. Eating hard foods might further break your tooth, so try to eat as many soft foods as possible until you can see your dentist.
When you get to your dentist, there are a few different scenarios that could occur for a chipped tooth. The final treatment plan will often depend on the severity of the break and the condition of the rest of your tooth. If your tooth is healthy and there is enough tooth left in place, then a filling is usually the best option. However, if there is too much damage, then a crown might be a good option so that you have what appears to be a natural tooth. An extraction is an option to consider as well if too much of the tooth is gone or there are signs of an infection.