Chipped Tooth: Causes, Treatment, Recovery

The enamel of a person's teeth is one of the most durable parts of the body, but that does not mean you are exempt from having a chipped tooth now and then. Your teeth are always under a lot of pressure from the forces of chewing and the acids in the mouth.

Over time, this constant bombardment can lead to a portion of a tooth breaking off. That can ruin the appearance of a tooth and even take away the person's ability to chew properly with it.

Common causes of a chipped tooth

It is possible to develop a chipped tooth due to many reasons. Some of these include:

  • Chewing on hard things like candy, fingernails or ice
  • Trauma from accidents or sports
  • Teeth grinding
  • A tooth becoming weakened due to tooth decay

Risk factors for chipped teeth

Several factors can make a person more likely to have a chipped tooth. Some of these include:

  • Tooth integrity being weakened by tooth decay
  • Grinding away the enamel
  • Consuming too many acidic foods
  • Acid reflux disease
  • Eating disorders like bulimia
  • Aging

The second molars are the most likely teeth to have a chip given the extreme pressure they are under when a person eats. Teeth that have been restored with fillings are also more susceptible to chipping.

How to spot a chipped tooth

It is possible to have a chipped tooth and not even realize it. Symptoms of a chipped tooth include:

  • Feeling a jagged edge when the tongue or fingers are run over the teeth
  • Gum irritation
  • Tongue irritation
  • Pain when biting down with the tooth. This is typically intense if the chip is close to the tooth's nerve

Treatment options for chipped teeth

The treatment used to fix a chipped tooth depends on some different factors like the severity of the chip and the location of the tooth. In most cases, a chipped tooth does not qualify as a dental emergency unless it is close to the nerve.

Treatments commonly used to address a chipped tooth include:

1. Tooth reattachment

If the patient is able to save the tooth, often by storing it in milk or saliva solution, the dentist might be able to reattach it with dental cement.

2. Bonding

Composite resin can be used to restore the appearance of the tooth and restore its function. It is one of the more affordable solutions.

3. Veneers

If a chip only leads to aesthetic issues, the dentist can use a veneer to restore the appearance of the tooth.

4. Dental onlays

Onlays are a special type of fillings that are made in a lab and cemented on the damaged tooth. It is one of the more durable solutions.

We are always here to help! 

There is no need to let a chipped tooth ruin the appearance of your smile. Set up a consultation with one of our dentists if you are ready to restore your smile and confidence.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dragonfly Dental of Port Charlotte, request an appointment in our Port Charlotte dental office here: Or call us at (941) 893-4240.

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