This is a collaborative post by Ellie Jo about dental care.
Over the course of a lifetime, our teeth go through a lot. Unlike every other tissue in our bodies, they never get replaced. Instead, our adult teeth sit in our mouth for decades, munching away at our food without any respite.
But there’s a problem with this. As we get older, our teeth can start to chip. Eventually, little chunks can fall off, leading to misshapen teeth that can affect your smile.
Leaving a chipped tooth as it is, however, is not a good idea.
The Importance of Fixing Chipped Teeth
You Could Experience More Pain
The first issue you might encounter is more pain. When you chip a tooth, part of the enamel falls away, revealing the nerve-ending-rich dentin underneath. If something comes into contact with the dentin, it can lead to sharp, shooting pains.
Most people experience issues when they eat something hot or cold. The temperature of the food transmits to the nerves under the chip causing tooth sensitivity.
It Could Lead To A Cracked Tooth
If you have a chip in your tooth already, it is much more likely that it will crack in the future. Over time, stresses on the tooth will weaken it, which can lead to the much more severe issue of splitting. The tooth cracks along its length, often necessitating major repair work or removal.
It Could Become Stained
If you have a chipped tooth, it could lead to staining. Chipping reveals the soft dentin under the protective layer of enamel. Tannins from the food you eat can quickly discolor the dentin, leading to unsightly brown patches on the surface of your teeth that are almost impossible to remove.
The Tooth Could Decay
Because chips expose the interior of the tooth, it opens up the possibility for bacteria to get in and cause tooth decay. If you don’t get the tooth fixed, you could wind up with root canal treatment or worse.
It Can Affect Your Confidence
Smiling when you know you have a chip in your tooth can become something you avoid. You don’t want to show people that your teeth aren’t perfect, which affects your confidence.
How to Fix Chipped Teeth
Fortunately, there are a host of solutions for chipped teeth.
The most common solution is dental putty. This is where your dental professional takes a chunk of clay-like substance and uses it to paint over a small chip in your mouth. The clay bonds to the enamel and often stays in place for years before you need to replace it.
Another solution is to choose either veneers or Lumineers to cover the chip and reinforce the tooth. The question of which is better – Lumineers vs veneers – is ongoing, but suffice to say that both can solve the problem.
If your chip has developed into a crack, you may need to invest in more extreme interventions. Cracked teeth must often be removed and replaced with an implant. While it can be a long process, it is by far the best way to restore your teeth and give you your smile back the way you like it.
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.