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What to Do If Your Tooth Is Chipped

Protect your teeth and avoid future injury after a tooth chipping.

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Tooth chipping can be a pain, but there are solutions if it’s addressed by a professional. At first, there may be significant pain involved or even bleeding. These damages can occur from something as simple as sipping from your coffee mug slightly too fast, or in a sports accident. At first, it may be best to apply pressure at the sign to stop bleeding and rinse your mouth with warm water to sanitize the area. Below you’ll find what else you should do in the event of chipping your tooth unexpectedly.

How to Treat a Chipped Tooth

Treating a chipped tooth doesn’t have to be stressful. It all starts with understanding the simple steps needed to properly care for your mouth injury.

Broken tooth. Broken upper incisor in a man mouth. Man shows oral cavity to the dentist. Treatment of a broken tooth.

Apply Pressure to Stop Any Bleeding

Immediately after injury, you will need to apply pressure to stop any bleeding at the mouth. To prevent further blood loss, hold a clean gauze at the mouth. Gently press against your gums until the majority of the bleeding subsides.

Rinse Your Mouth to Sanitize the Injury

After you’ve stopped any initial bleeding, rinse your mouth with water or a mouthwash to sanitize the injured area. An antiseptic wash can clean the area where the tooth started to fall off.

Find Pain Relief

If you experience severe pain after a tooth chipping, there are a number of over-the-counter methods you can try to alleviate your suffering. After first reducing the swelling by applying pressure, try:

  • Applying a Cooling Tooth and Gum Gel
  • Taking a Pain Relieving Pill (Ibuprofen, Tylenol)
  • Applying a Cold Compress

Protect Your Mouth to Prevent Further Injury

If proper care isn’t taken immediately after the injury, it could worsen your condition over time. After you’ve alleviated some of the nagging pain, try implementing these methods to protect your teeth and gums:

Wear a Mouth Guard to Play Sports

Specifically, playing sports such as hockey without a mouthguard can put someone more at risk for a chipped tooth. If you play a sport where a puck or ball may come in contact with your face, prepare by wearing protective gear as a form of preventative care.

Seek a Professional Consultation

Once you’ve worked on implementing at-home care for your chipped tooth, it may be time to schedule a consultation with your dentist for further guidance. If the tooth chip was minor and not noticeable, you may not need a consultation. However, if the problem persists you will need to have a dentist take a look to discuss individual recommendations. Depending on the severity, it’s possible that cosmetic contouring, bonding, or polishing fills me be necessary. Contact our office if you are in need of professional assistance.

Common Causes of Chipped Teeth

Chipped teeth commonly occur from accidents or any sort of physical contact that has too much of a physical impact on our teeth. Over time, a lack of dental hygiene can weaken the tooth’s enamel making it more prone to chipping. When too much pressure is applied on our teeth than the average pressure from chewing our food, a piece can fall off.

Playing Contact Sports

Playing contact sports can put you at risk for up-close physical contact with other athletes. It could be the contact itself with another player that leads to a chipped tooth. Or, the cause could be the impact of a ball, bat, or other equipment that comes too close to a person’s face.

Broken tooth. Broken upper incisor in a man mouth. Man shows oral cavity to the dentist. Treatment of a broken tooth.

Biting Something Hard

When we bite something too hard like ice or candy, in consequence, our teeth could become chipped. Things like ice and candy have too hard an exterior for our teeth to bite through. If you already have decaying teeth, it puts you significantly more at risk for a tooth to chip when biting into something hard.

Injuries From Falls

Falling to the ground can also equally cause an impact on our teeth and gums. When our face and neck have a quick and forceful impact with the ground the coinciding jaw pressure may cause a chipped tooth.

Injuries From Car Accidents

A car accident has the ability to cause dental trauma. Car accidents can cause cracked or broken teeth, nerve damage, or jaw muscle injury. The force of an impact at a great velocity during an automobile collision experience has the capacity to cause chronic neck pain or tooth injury.

Grinding Your Teeth

Bruxism, otherwise known as grinding your teeth, can also cause a chipped tooth. Many times, people grind their teeth without realizing it and slowly cause friction in their mouths as the days go by. Eventually, this consistent grinding can lead to a chipped tooth.

What are the Symptoms of a Chipped Tooth?

There are many telltale signs that you may have chipped a tooth. Some of these include:

  • Toothache While Eating or Drinking
  • Sensitivity to Temperature Changes in the Mouth
  • Swelling or Bleeding of the Gums

What Makes You More at Risk for a Chipped Tooth?

A chipped tooth can happen to anybody through an accident, however, there are some things that put people more at risk than others for a chipped tooth. These include eating acidic foods often, large dental cavity fillings, or poor overall oral hygiene. If you are at risk for a chipped tooth contact a dental professional today to learn about preventative treatment options.

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Dr. Standish has been serving Clay County patients at Eagle Harbor Dental for over 40 years. His daughters Dr. Kelly & Dr. Erin joined the practice and they’ve been creating beautiful smiles as a family ever since. With extensive educations and memberships, our dentists are the best that Fleming Island has to offer.


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