Though healthy teeth are strong and durable, they can still be prone to chipping, cracking or breaking. When this happens, it may not necessarily be painful, but it may impart lasting damage. We do recommend that you seek urgent treatment from a qualified healthcare professional.
Not every chipped or cracked tooth needs treatment. However, in all cases, it is best to see a qualified health professional to determine how deep the damage is. Untreated cases may lead to root infections and tooth loss.
Treatments may include polishing, filling, root canal and crown, or even extraction and implants. Treatment suitability depends on each individual case, its context and severity.
Chipped and broken teeth are commonly caused by:
Trauma - This includes trauma to the mouth or face, such as being hit by a baseball, or getting into an accident.
Biting - Biting down on hard foods (like certain candy) or objects (like a bone) could chip or break a tooth.
Poor Hygiene - Bad oral health leads to a weaker enamel, which means a tooth that is more likely to chip or crack.
Cavities - No surprise here. Cavities weaken your teeth, pre-disposing them to being chipped or cracked.
Grinding - Also known as bruxism, the excessive grinding your teeth can lead to chipped or cracked teeth.
It's vital that you see a qualified health professional as soon as possible. In the meantime, make sure to take care of the chipped or broken tooth immediately after discovery.
Rinse - Rinse your mouth right away with warm water.
Pressure - If you are bleeding near the area, apply pressure with a piece of gauze. If there is swelling, apply a cold compress sparingly (but not directly on the tooth!).
If you can find the broken piece of tooth, wrap it in wet gauze and bring it to your appointment.