A tooth is remarkably strong, but a broken tooth is not uncommon. We could use our teeth for a variety of things depending on the individual, but the teeth are basically meant for chewing food particles. A typical tooth is made up of four different tissues, which are dentin, cementum, dental pulp, and enamel.
The enamel is the hard white part covering the tooth and which is visible to the eye, the dentin is the layer just below the enamel, the cementum is the part of the tooth buried in the gum while the dental pulp is the soft interior where you can find the nerve endings. Among many other things, a chipped tooth can occur as a result of biting down on something hard, being hit or falling with your face and getting your teeth hit by something hard, having cavities that weaken the tooth, etc.
A chipped tooth can range from a small chip off the edge of the tooth to a severe crack along the surface of the tooth. However, it should be noted that they both weaken the tooth and expose the sensitive and fragile nerve. Likewise, this can cause extreme discomfort and inconveniences especially when subjected to hot or cold food or drinks, to air or to pressure while chewing. There are several types of tooth chips and which require different treatments, and they include:
- Minor Cracks
- Broken cusp
- Cracked Tooth
- Split Tooth
- Serious Breaks
- Vertical Breaks or Split root
- Decay-induced Break
A chipped tooth should be fixed as soon as it is observed because the consequences of ignoring it can be severe and pose challenges during eating. The significant risks in ignoring a chipped tooth are:
You Could Get Your Tongue Injured
This is the least severe consequence of an untreated chipped tooth. When a part of the tooth breaks off, it leaves a rough and sharp surface, and such surfaces could injure your tongue, causing you unnecessary pain.
The outer structure of the tooth is no longer present and functional, the root of the tooth is exposed, and the interior pulp within the tooth is extremely sensitive to temperature. So, therefore, cold water, hot food, beverages, etc. causes shooting pain (short sharp) to the root of the tooth.
A chipped tooth can lead to decay of the nerve within the tooth because it is now weakened and this leads to the tooth getting cracked and so putting pressure on the cracked or chipped tooth even a little bit could cause immense pain.
Breakage of the Tooth
This also occurs as a result of not fixing the chipped tooth. A cracked tooth has the inner section housing the nerves exposed. If you chew anything hard, there is likely to be an escalation of the chipped tooth to a broken tooth, and a broken tooth is worse than a chipped tooth and requires more treatment to fix.
Infection of the Chipped Tooth
This occurs as a result of the exposure of the nerve of the tooth that has been exposed due to the chip or breakage in extreme cases. The inner nerves can get infected, or an abscess can even form, which is extremely dangerous to one’s health.
A chipped tooth can be avoided by being careful of the kinds of foods you chew. You should ensure that you do not eat food or substances that are too hard or that can cause you pain. If you are yet to fix your chipped tooth, you should avoid hard food substances and liquids that are too cold or too hot altogether. You might also want to stick to soft foods to avoid putting pressure on the chipped tooth, or you can at least try to avoid using the chipped tooth when chewing or biting till you get treatment. While a chipped tooth may not seem serious at first, it is very unwise not to fix it. It is, therefore, advised that one should seek professional help as soon as possible.
If you find yourself with a chipped tooth, call us at Angel Dental in El Monte and let’s set up an appointment right away to see how we can help fix your tooth (626) 444-2002.