Chipped Tooth

Chipped Tooth2020-11-11T23:42:43+00:00

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 breaking a tooth. Too late? Find out how to care for it, and how to fix it. Watch the short clip below to learn more about fixing a chipped tooth.



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

To fix a chipped tooth, your dentist can bond it (if in front), fill it (if in back), or simply smooth it out (if small chip).

To repair a broken tooth, your options are filling or dental bonding for smaller breaks, and dental crown or dental implant for bigger breaks. Effectiveness, risk, and cost all vary across these options.

Now, if the damage reaches (or nears) the tooth’s pulp, then a root canal is necessary (or advisable). Otherwise, an eventual root infection is likely, leading to failure of the repair and entailing a root canal after all.

Click to learn more about how to fix a damaged tooth.

Broken Tooth Care

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.


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