Enamel, or the tough, outer covering of your teeth — is one of the strongest substances in your body. But it does have it limits. A forceful blow or excessive wear and tear can cause teeth to chip. The result is a jagged tooth surface that can be sharp, tender, and disfiguring.
Causes Of Chipped Teeth
Teeth can chip for any number of reasons. The More Common causes include:
- biting down on hard substances, like ice or hard candy
- falls or car accidents
- playing contact sports without a mouth guard
- grinding teeth when you sleep
Are There Any Risk Factors With Chipped Teeth?
- Tooth decay and cavities eat away at enamel. Large fillings also tend to weaken teeth.
- Teeth grinding can wear down enamel.
- Eating a lot of acid-producing foods, such as fruit juices, coffee, and spicy foods can break down enamel and leave the surface of teeth exposed.
- Acid reflux or heartburn, two digestive conditions, can bring stomach acid up into your mouth, where they can damage tooth enamel.
- Eating disorders or excessive alcohol use can cause frequent vomiting, which in turn can produce enamel-eating acid.
- Bacteria in the mouth consumes sugars producing acids that attack and weaken enamel.
- Tooth enamel wears down over time, so if you’re 50 years or older, your risk of having weakened enamel increases.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Chipped Tooth
If the chip is minor and not at the front of your mouth, you may not know you have it at all. When you do have symptoms, however, they may include:
- feeling a jagged surface when you run your tongue over your teeth
- irritation of the gum around the chipped tooth.
- irritation of your tongue from “catching” it on the tooth’s uneven and rough edge
- pain from pressure on the tooth when biting, which can be intense if the chip is near to or exposes the nerves of the tooth
Treatment Options For Chipped Teeth
Treatment of a chipped tooth generally depends on its location, severity, and symptoms. Unless it’s causing severe pain and significantly interfering with eating and sleeping, it’s not a medical emergency.
Still, you should make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to avoid infection or further damage to the tooth. A minor chip can usually be treated by simply smoothing and polishing the tooth.
For more extensive chips, there are several treatment options available. If you are dealing with a chipped tooth, contact Gulf Coast Dental for an exam and to discuss treatment options