Why You Shouldn't Ignore a Chipped Tooth

Chipped teeth can happen for a variety of reasons. Maybe you bit down on something hard while you were eating, like a pit or bone, or you ripped open a package with your teeth (by the way, don’t do that!). It could be a result of an accident or trauma to the face. Grinding your teeth can also cause a tooth to chip.

Some chipped tooth incidents are minor, where your tooth doesn’t hurt but may look a bit funny. Other incidents can result in pain and an emergency visit to the dentist. Regardless of the nature and severity of your chipped tooth, don’t ignore it. If you’ve chipped your tooth, make an appointment with Dr. Erika Burley of Burley Dentistry in Charlotte, North Carolina, right away. Here’s why:

If your chipped tooth is minor, it probably won’t stay that way

Little chips or cracks can lead to big chips and cracks. Teeth with cracks are at a higher risk of breaking. Additionally, even if the tooth doesn’t hurt, jagged edges could nick your tongue or cheek. Dr. Burley may simply reattach the chipped part or recommend bonding to fix the appearance of the tooth and prevent it from getting worse.   

It can impact your smile

Even if your tooth doesn’t hurt, a jagged, chipped tooth can be unsightly and ruin a perfectly good smile. An untreated chip in your tooth could lead to more serious dental issues. Your cosmetic dentistry options to fix an unattractive tooth are plentiful. A consultation with Dr. Burley can help you decide which one is right for your smile.

It can turn into an abscess

An abscessed tooth is a painful tooth infection commonly caused by tooth decay, gum disease, or a cracked tooth. A cracked or chipped tooth makes it easier for bacteria to get to your tooth’s pulp, the soft part that contains nerves, blood vessels, and protective tissue. If bacteria invade the pulp, it can form a pus-pocket called an abscess. An abscess caused by a cracked tooth requires a root canal.

You can prevent a root canal, or worse

Even if your chipped tooth doesn’t lead to an abscessed tooth, it can still lead to infection in the pulp. If the infection is not repaired with a root canal, you can lose your tooth because the bacteria can damage the bones surrounding your teeth and compromise your tooth’s connection to your jaw.

It can hurt — a lot

If you’ve chipped or cracked a large portion of your tooth, exposing a nerve, you can be in a lot of pain. You won’t need a reason to see the dentist — you’ll want to make an emergency dental visit so you can get treatment to relieve your pain. Bring the chipped pieces with you, and use ice packs to relieve the pain until you get to your dental appointment.

The bottom line is that bad things can happen if you don’t have your chipped tooth examined by a dental professional. If you have a chipped or cracked tooth, call or make an appointment online with Dr. Burley as soon as possible.

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