General dentistry involves taking care of your general dental care, including regular checkups, cleanings, X rays, and other dental needs. General dentistry also includes caring for your oral health needs when you have a chipped tooth.
A chipped tooth can occur at any time, often occurring due to weakened tooth enamel as a cavity erupts or worsens. Trauma to a tooth due to biting into hard foods, grinding or gritting your teeth when you sleep, or hurting your teeth in an accident or sport are also possible causes of a chipped or cracked tooth.
While you may not even notice your chipped tooth, the tooth will eventually need general dentistry to repair the damage. The sooner you see your dentist, the better. If you suspect a chipped or cracked tooth, make an appointment with your general dentist right away.
When the tooth hurts
If you have pain in a tooth that has been chipped, see your dentist. This means the nerve attached to the tooth may be damaged, and if the nerve is exposed and the tooth left untreated, you can actually end up with a dead tooth. A dead tooth will turn yellow, brownish, then eventually a black color and have to be removed before it causes other teeth to decay, so that simple chip should be repaired by a dental professional as soon as you notice the problem.
When the chip is worsening
Tooth enamel is the thick hard part of your tooth protecting the tender tissue underneath, so when the enamel chips, you may not even notice the chip right away. This can cause the chip to get worse with time as you continue to eat hard foods, grind your teeth, or otherwise put the chipped tooth in a compromised position to crack and chip even more. The deeper a chip gets, the more likely the tooth enamel is to wear away from the tissue it protects, exposing your tooth to serious damage.
A chip may feel jagged to the touch with your tongue, look strange compared to other teeth, or even cause temporary or worsening tooth sensitivity. General dentistry can repair the chipped tooth by putting a crown or cap on the tooth to strengthen the enamel that is left.
A chipped tooth is a repairable dental issue that is relatively common. This condition is treated by general dentistry, so call your general or family dentist right away if your chipped tooth is becoming a problem.
Contact a dentist like Dr. Jon Douglas Lesan, DDS, RpH, PA for more information.