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Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ignore a Chipped Tooth

September 11, 2018 By Dr. Rick Leppo

A small chip on a tooth may not look like much, but it’s already got a lot of potential to cause trouble because it might not stay that way.

Chipped teeth or tooth fractures of any size weaken the overall integrity of the tooth. Over time, there’s a strong possibility the chip will become larger. The fracture will become deeper, and your tooth will become more in danger of requiring extensive treatment. Your chipped tooth might not bother you all that much or maybe it’s not bothering you at all. But, here’s why you should be concerned:

Sharp Edges Endanger Soft Tissue
Rough edges may not appear to be anything except a cosmetic issue – that is until you accidentally bite down on your tongue or cheek . . . OUCH! The tongue can become tender as it grazes along a fractured tooth constantly, so spare yourself that kind of annoying discomfort by getting the chip repaired.

Your Tooth Is More Exposed to Decay
Tooth fractures are like weak spots in your tooth’s armor. With an opening in the enamel, bacteria are more likely to invade your tooth and start a cavity. It’s good measure to seal the opening with a dental restoration which will restore the tooth’s natural barrier and protect it against additional damage.

The Nerve Could Be Injured
All tooth chips are not the same. Depending on how deep and the size of the missing area of the tooth will determine the solution. A superficial fracture can easily be buffed and smoothed to restore to natural function. On the other hand, your tooth might not just have a visible chip. It could actually have severe internal damage which may require more extensive treatment. Only your dentist can evaluate the area to determine the best course of treatment necessary to save the tooth.

Harmful Habits
Teeth may become weakened by bad habits such as: ice chewing, fingernail biting, and sunflower seeds just to name a few. Some individuals grind or clench their teeth which exerts harmful stresses on teeth causing premature wear and fractures.

It also depends on how your upper and lower teeth contact naturally. Your teeth may become damaged due to improper tooth alignment. Tooth misalignment places your bite force in harmful positions, chipping teeth.

To learn more about how to prevent or fix chipped or broken teeth, call Dr. Leppo 618-281-6161 or visit our website at!

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Dr. Rick Leppo, Dr. Caroline Connolly and your Columbia Dental Center care team are here for you.