Causes of a Chipped ToothThe possible causes of a chipped tooth include:
- Falling and hitting your mouth
- Biting on a hard object or food, such as a hard candy or a bone
- Suffering trauma to the face from a sports injury or accident
- Cavities which can weaken the teeth and predispose you to a chipped tooth
Immediate Care for a Chipped ToothIf you have a chipped tooth, make an appointment to see your dental professional as soon as possible. Meanwhile, follow these steps:
- Rinse: Rinse your mouth with warm water.
- Press: If there is any bleeding in your mouth as a result of a chipped tooth, use a piece of gauze to apply pressure to the area.
- Chill: Place an ice pack on your lips or cheek near the chipped tooth to help control swelling.
- Cover: If you can’t see a dental professional the same day that your chipped tooth occurs, cover the chipped tooth with dental cement (available at most drugstores) to protect the remaining tooth until your appointment.
Professional Care for a Chipped ToothTreatment of a chipped tooth depends on the size and severity of the injury:
- Small: If the chip in your tooth is very small, your dental professional might simply smooth and polish the chipped tooth, and no additional treatment will be needed.
- Medium: If your chipped tooth involves minor damage to the tooth enamel, your dental professional will probably place a filling, crown, or cap over the chipped tooth to restore its normal appearance and function and to protect the inner layers of the teeth from irritation and infection.
- Large: If your chipped tooth is large enough to expose the tooth nerve, you will likely need a root canal to remove the damaged nerve, plus a crown or cap to replace the chipped tooth. (1), (2)