You’ve completed your cold beverage and are down to the ice. You begin munching away on the ice cubes when suddenly, CRACK! That little flake of ice you chewed on is a piece of tooth!
Chipped teeth are prevalent in both adults and children. A chipped tooth is one in which a very small bit or portion of the tooth comes off, usually at the tooth’s edge. If the bit that has broken off is very small, you may not feel pain right away or even detect if the tooth has been chipped. There are numerous causes and scenarios in which your tooth can get chipped. For example, a chipped tooth might happen by crunching on hard candy or ice.
The enamel is the mineralized covering of the teeth and is the most mineralized and toughest tissue in the body; yet, its endurance and strength are limited. A chipped tooth can be caused by being hit in the face or falling and landing facedown. This is especially true if the tooth has already had some decay. Don’t be alarmed if you find a fragment of your tooth in your mouth one day. The dentist can use a variety of techniques to repair a chipped tooth.
A minor chip in a tooth may appear insignificant, especially if it is a molar that no one can see. More minor chips are usually not a concern unless they are sharp, in which case they could cut your mouth. However, if your chip is large enough, it may cause more severe issues like discomfort, hot/cold sensitivity, foul breath, swollen glands, and even infected roots.
A chipped tooth’s sharp edges can injure your cheek, tongue, and gums, causing them to bleed. If the chipped tooth is a result of an injury, you may also have other injuries like a concussion, cracked skull, or broken jaw. In these cases, it is best to seek medical attention immediately.