Life comes at you pretty fast—and things like dental emergencies can happen when you least expect them to. But when you suffer something like a chipped tooth, is it truly an emergency? Or is your damaged tooth able to heal up on its own? Keep reading to learn more from your emergency dentist in Frisco about chipped teeth and what causes them, along with why the injury usually necessitates prompt treatment even if it doesn’t seem severe.

Why Do Teeth Become Chipped?

Your pearly whites are strong, but they aren’t invincible! And weakened teeth, especially due to poor oral hygiene, are very susceptible to all sorts of problems including chipping and fracturing. That said, there are many risk factors associated with chipped teeth, all of which can cause or escalate the issue:

  • Tooth decay & cavities resulting from poor oral hygiene.
  • Bruxism (grinding and clenching your teeth).
  • Eating disorders and excessive alcohol consumption (from acids coming in contact with your teeth).
  • Worn enamel due to old age.
  • Physical trauma from contact sports, a trip or fall, an auto accident, etc.

Why Do Chipped Teeth Require Treatment?

The human body is capable of sustaining and healing significant injury, but your teeth sadly can’t repair that level of damage on their own. In rare cases, a tooth that has sustained a small crack in its enamel layer might be able to repair itself over time (thanks to the remineralization benefits provided by your saliva), but the high majority of tooth problems involving physical damage are going to require professional care.

Even if you’re not experiencing any painful symptoms, you should still contact your emergency dentist promptly upon chipping a tooth, as you might be at risk for other serious oral health concerns. Depending on the severity of the injury, your dentist will determine when you need to come in and how you can address the situation in the meantime, such as taking over-the-counter pain relievers or applying an ice pack to your cheek on the affected side of your mouth.

How Are Chipped Teeth Treated?

Luckily, chipped teeth are easily treatable with the help of your dentist. Common treatment options include porcelain veneers, dental bonding, or crowns. For more severely chipped teeth, you might need a root canal before you can receive a crown. In extreme cases, the chipped tooth might need to be extracted if the damage cannot be treated, but this is usually done as a very last resort. In any case, your dentist will always ensure that no matter how your chipped tooth is treated, you’re provided with aftercare instructions to ensure a smooth recovery.

If you’ve suffered a chipped tooth and you’re waiting around for it to heal, it likely won’t! Visiting your emergency dentist quickly is the best way to ensure that your tooth receives the care it needs, and your smile isn’t in any long-term danger.

About the Author

Dr. Jill Wade received her dental doctorate from Baylor University and is a Master of the prestigious Academy of General Dentistry. Her practice is pleased to offer a wide range of available services including emergency dentistry. If you or a loved one has suffered a chipped tooth, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment: (469) 361-0081.