What To Do If You Chip A Front Tooth

Even though your teeth can withstand plenty of crunching and munching, there are times when chewing on ice, grinding your teeth, or playing a rough sport might cause you to chip one. A chipped front tooth not only looks unsightly, but can also be pretty painful and annoying. Should you suffer a chipped tooth, follow these steps to handle the situation properly:

Step 1: Ease the pain.

If the chip is large, it may expose the deeper layers of your teeth, where sensory nerves reside. This can result in shooting and sharp pains, especially when you open your mouth and air flows over the tooth. There are a few ways to bring the pain under control:

  • Stick some chewed, sugar-free gum over the edge of the tooth to keep it from being exposed to the chilly air.
  • Head to a local drugstore, and purchase some dental wax. It's made for people with braces, but you can place a little over the edge of your chipped tooth to protect it.

If the chip in your tooth is only small, you will probably not experience pain in the tooth. However, your jaw may be sore if the chip is the result of being hit in the face. Place an ice pack, covered in a cloth sleeve, over the outside of your cheek near the tooth to ease the pain. Don't ice the tooth area directly -- this will probably cause cold-sensitivity pain.

Step 2: Call your dentist.

Give your dentist as much information as possible about the incident. Tell him or her how large the chip is, which tooth it is in, and how the chip occurred. This will allow your dentist to determine whether you need immediate treatment, or whether you can wait a few days.

Step 3: Let the dentist fix you up.

Until it's time to see your dentist, you can keep managing your pain as directed above. If the pain is severe and you have to wait a day or two to see the dentist, take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, to keep it at bay.

Depending on the severity of your chip, your dentist may choose to treat it in one of several ways:

  • Dental bonding involves filling the chipped area with a hard resin. This option is commonly used for small to medium chips.
  • Very small chips can often be filed down to make them less obvious.
  • A root canal may be required for a large chip that exposes the tooth roots. The tooth is then covered with a crown to normalize its appearance.

If you chip a front tooth, follow these steps immediately -- don't wait. If the chip is deep, you may be at risk of developing an infection if you don't seek proper dental treatment.

Talk to experts like Glendale Dental Group for more information.