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Getting a chipped tooth might not seem like such a big deal. You might believe that it’s simply a cosmetic concern that only affects the look of your smile and nothing more. However, this is far from the truth. Ignoring a chipped tooth and failing to get it fixed can lead to increased chances of more substantial damage that could compromise the entire tooth.
A chipped tooth can be the root of many other problems if left alone. The type of treatment needed will depend on the severity of the chip or crack. These can range from a simple tooth filling or bonding to a more intense root canal treatment.
If the chip is large enough and you have lost much of the tooth’s structure, then your dentist might suggest other treatments like a dental crown or even veneers. The most important thing to do if you get a chipped tooth is to have it looked at by a dentist for the best possible treatment, and so that you can continue to have a healthy smile. Here are the top six reasons why you need to fix your chipped tooth:
1. Your smile’s appearance
While cosmetic worries should be the least of your worries when it comes to a chipped tooth, they can still be a concern. A chip in your tooth can make a huge difference when it comes to the appearance of your smile. Small chips can be quite noticeable if they interrupt the symmetry of your smile or they reveal a black space behind the tooth.
Once the appearance of your smile is impacted, a chipped tooth can impede your ability to make good first impressions. Your smile is one of the most important parts of making a lasting impact. It’s remembered more than your clothes or what you said. Minor chips can be fixed quickly with dental bonding.
2. It can cause sensitivity
Not only will the appearance of your smile be affected, but it can also cause uncomfortable sensitivity. Getting a chipped tooth reduces the insulation between the nerve in your tooth and any hot or cold food or beverages that you consume. You might begin to feel sensitivity or sharp pain in the area where your tooth chipped. This can be bothersome to deal with every day, so you should visit your dentist right away to see what can be done about it.
3. Cut tongue or cheeks
Other than possible pain from sensitivity, your chipped tooth can also cause pain in other areas of the mouth too. If the chip resulted in a sharp edge to the tooth, you could accidentally scratch your tongue or rub your inner cheeks raw in a certain spot. While it might not be terribly painful, it can still be annoying to deal with, especially if you don’t get your chipped tooth fixed for a long period of time.
4. Bite and jaw issues
A chipped tooth can knock other things off balance, including your bite. Your mouth is a precise system that is designed to engage in many different types of motions every day. It helps you chew, talk, and swallow foods. To make sure that it is functioning properly, your bite contacts will need to fit together precisely. A chip can cause a change in the way that your teeth fit together, and this means it will also have an effect on the way you bite down or chew. This can result in an uneven wearing down of your teeth, and it can even bring about teeth-grinding issues.
As well, it’s possible that the impact that caused the chipped tooth also knocked your jaw out of alignment or displaced your jaw joints. Minor displacements can progress into something worse if you do not get proper care.
5. Risk of decay and infection
Chipped teeth are a lot more prone to decay and infection compared to healthy teeth. Your tooth is meant to be a smooth surface, but having a chip results in a rough surface that attracts food debris and bacteria. The chipped tooth will also become harder to clean properly, which means that the chip can easily turn into a cavity.
If your chip runs a little deeper and it exposes the dentin underneath the enamel, then there is a high risk of decay, which can result in oral damage that is even more serious. Dentin is not as resistant to symptoms of decay like the enamel. Cavities can occur much quicker through dentin, eventually spreading and infecting the interior of the tooth. This type of damage and decay will need treatment with root canal therapy.
6. Your injury could be more serious than you think
In some cases, there might be a risk that the injury to your tooth is not just a chip on the surface. The force at which caused the chip in the first place could also misalign the roots of your tooth, which can cause the tooth to become discoloured, get infected, or even fall out and die. Your dentist will be able to help you inspect the tooth and the extent of the full injury. And, in certain cases, they might use a splint in order to save any loose teeth.
Your dentist will also be able to tell whether your chip is actually a crack that runs down the tooth and could lead to infection. Taking the right steps and acting quickly is necessary when you want to save a cracked tooth. If the chip is serious, you might need to get a dental crown or another form of reconstructive dentistry.
Because of all of these potential risks caused by a chipped tooth, it’s not worth it to put off treatment for a long time. Get some peace of mind by contacting your dentist right away and seeing if it is in fact a little chip or a cause for big concern.
For more information about emergency dentists in Toronto, call Bloor West Smiles at 647-371-1407 or contact us here.