It’s more likely to happen than you think. You could be biting into a hard food or sometimes something as soft as a slice of bread and the next thing you know a piece of tooth is lying on your tongue. If the chip wasn’t painful, you may decide that it’s a purely aesthetic issue, so you don’t need to run to the dentist. For the sake of your teeth, please don’t do that.

Many patients with a chipped or cracked tooth forgo treatment until the tooth becomes painful or their dentist notices the chip during an appointment. While you may not look forward to an additional trip to the dentist, it is important that you see your dentist as soon as possible after the damage occurs. Chipped teeth that may not be initially painful can lead to bigger issues down the road.

The causes of cracked teeth include cavities, a bad bite, a hard hit, and teeth grinding. Regardless of how the chip or crack was created, there are a few steps you should take once you notice it. First, rinse your mouth with warm water and stop the bleeding, if there is any. Then, you should call your dentist to make an appointment. If you are unable to make an appointment the same day, you should avoid chewing hard foods until the appointment.

The severity of the chip or crack will determine how your dentist treats it. A small chip may only be smoothed down and polished. A more severe chip may require a filling or a crown to protect the remaining enamel and dentin. The most severe cracks, which often are large enough to expose the tooth nerve and damage it, will most likely need root canal therapy and a crown.

If you have a chipped or cracked tooth, call Huntingdon Valley Dental Arts immediately. You will want Dr. Makrauer or Dr. Miller to examine it and decide the best course of treatment soon after the damage has taken place.