Chipped Or Broken Tooth

A chipped or broken tooth deserves immediate dental care. Negligence could lead to infection, pain, or loss of the tooth.

Watch out for common causes of chipping or braking a tooth. Too late? Find out how to care for it, and how to fix it.

  • broken chipped tooth
  • missing tooth
  • broken tooth before after

Causes

What to avoid

Common causes of chipped or broken teeth are:

  • Chewing ice, hard candy, nuts, popcorn kernels, and other hard foods
  • Clenching or grinding teeth (bruxism)
  • Practicing such contact sports as martial arts, wrestling, football, etc
  • Using teeth as a tool to open bottles, packages; to break tape and tags

These careless causes are preventable. Thus chew carefully any hard foods, combat any bruxism with an appropriate device, wear a mouth guard during contact sports, and use teeth only for eating.

Less common and preventable are the following causes:

  • natural wear
  • large fillings
  • extensive tooth decay
  • previous root canal

These all compromise a tooth's strength, making it more prone to chips and breaks.

Fixing a Chipped or Broken Tooth

Smoothing, bonding, crown & implant

Broken Tooth Care

Prior to the dentist

Care for your chipped or broken tooth, prior to the dentist, as follows:

  • Rinse your mouth with warm, salted water to clean and soothe it
  • If bleeding, press clean cloth to arrest the blood
  • If in pain, apply a cold pack to the local lips, and take some pain reliever
  • Only eat soft foods, chewing away from the damaged tooth
  • If dental care must wait, apply temporary dental cement or wax (any drugstore), to mask damage and protect tongue

If your chipped tooth hurts, the tooth nerve is affected, and can become infected, entailing a root canal.