What Should I Do When I Chip My Tooth?

Crack. You’ve just bitten into a piece of food—but it feels like the food has bitten back. Many people chip their teeth accidentally, whether from biting into something unexpectedly hard, sports injuries or just sheer bad luck. It can be painful and embarrassing. You may wonder whether you need to make an emergency dental appointment now, or if it can wait until your next checkup.

If you’ve only come away with a tiny chip, you may be able to skip seeing the dentist until your next appointment. It’s not advisable, but you’re less likely to suffer any further damage. However, if you’ve chipped your tooth badly, or think it is cracked, it’s time to pick up the phone and call Fioritto Dental.

Here’s what to do if you chip your tooth.

Immediately after chipping your tooth

Even if you’ve only chipped the tooth slightly, the jagged edge can cut your tongue and/or lips. Your mouth may bleed, and it can be quite painful. It’s best to rinse your mouth with warm water periodically until the bleeding stops, and hold cold compresses to the outside of your mouth to keep the pain at bay. Avoid chewing on the chipped side until after you’ve seen your dentist at Fioritto Dental.

If you’ve actually broken your tooth and can locate the missing piece, wrap the piece of tooth in a wet gauze or tissue to bring when you arrive for your appointment. We may be able to reattach the piece. If we cannot reattach the piece to your broken tooth, we can cosmetically restore your tooth.  Depending on the extent of tooth damage, we have several corrective options.

When to call a dentist

All but the tiniest chips require a trip to the dentist. Even if the cosmetic damage is minor, there could be a crack lurking beneath. Hidden cracks can penetrate the tooth and into the pulp where the nerves lie. We will examine your tooth, and likely x-ray the damaged area. This enables us to determine the extent of the damage, and how best to resolve it.

For chipped teeth, the fix could be as simple as polishing the rough edge. Larger chips and broken teeth may require bonding, where we painlessly grind the tooth down slightly, then add a resin to fill in the chip or reattach part of the broken tooth. We have additional remedies for extensive damage as well.

Protecting your tooth until you can see a dentist

We understand it is sometimes difficult to schedule an appointment due to work or family commitments.  If you cannot come in right away, you can purchase some dental wax from a drugstore and use it to protect your mouth from the jagged edge of the cracked tooth. We advise our patients to schedule an appointment as soon as possible instead of long-term temporary “fixes.”

Ultimately, having a chipped tooth isn’t as scary as it seems. You may be surprised to learn the injury is often the worst part!  We are here to make you comfortable.  When you call or email us at Fioritto Dental, you can be rest assured that fixing your tooth will be as quick and painless as possible. Call us today to schedule an appointment.