Sometimes a chipped tooth might not feel like something that warrants an urgent trip to your local dental clinic. Whether you had an accident or the tooth has been gradually degrading due to decay (although arguably both of these things are accidental), you need to have it examined as soon as possible.
It's not only the fact that quick action can fix the tooth, ideally without the need for anything too extensive, but it's also the fact that the sharp edge exposed by the tooth can be uncomfortable in your mouth, even perhaps painful. So what do you need to do in the immediate aftermath of chipping a tooth?
A Sharp Edge
Be cautious of the newly exposed sections of teeth. They can be surprisingly sharp, potentially causing damage to your tongue. While you might be doing your best not to run your tongue across the edge of the tooth, it can be a seemingly involuntary action. There is also the fact that your tongue might naturally be drawn across the area as you speak and eat. Avoid damage to your tongue as much as possible.
A Protective Barrier
While you should get to the dentist as soon as possible, you might wish to place some type of protective barrier across the sharp, jagged edge as a short-term solution. Try using a small piece of sugar-free gum. The stickiness of the gum will act as a form of adhesive, but it's not as though it will be firmly held in place. Keep applying a fresh piece of gum as needed. If the sharp edge of the tooth has already begun to cause discomfort, some over the counter pain relief can be beneficial.
It's vital to visit your dental clinic as soon as possible, since your dentist might be able to head off any further damage before it becomes critical. When the chip has removed a significant portion of the tooth, then a dental crown might be necessary to encase the tooth and keep it strong. When only a small section has broken away and the structural integrity of the tooth has not been compromised, then dental contouring might be enough to fix the issue. This is when the sharp edge is buffed away using a small sanding tool, essentially reshaping the tooth to an approximation of its former self.
Time is of the essence when you chip a tooth. Even though it might not seem too bad, the extent of the repairs can depend on how quickly you have the problem seen to. And of course, you'll want to avoid having something to sharp and uncomfortable in your mouth.
For more information, contact local professionals like those found at Care Dental.Share