A chipped tooth requires treatment. Without proper treatment from a qualified dentist, the issue can become worse and lead to more severe oral health complications. Understanding these risks can help you decide if and when you should visit a dentist after a chipped tooth occurs.
The risks of an untreated chipped tooth
A chipped tooth that is left untreated can cause unnecessary pain, swelling and tooth sensitivity, and more serious cases can lead to a tooth infection that requires root canal therapy or tooth loss. The following is a review of the risks of an untreated chipped tooth.
How a chipped tooth is defined
A chipped tooth refers to dental trauma that results in part of the tooth breaking off. The severity level of a chipped tooth varies, ranging from a minor chip that is hardly noticeable to a severe chip that extends toward the tooth root.
There are several common causes of a chipped tooth. Many are caused by a blow to the face. This could be the result of playing a contact sport, working in a construction zone or falling down the stairs. A chipped tooth may also occur as a result of teeth grinding while sleeping or biting down too hard on hard foods or ice.
Tooth pain and sensitivity
Chipping a tooth is most often a painful experience. Sensitivity can also result because the root of the tooth is more exposed and deeper layers of the tooth are left vulnerable. The initial pain and sensitivity may be tolerable and can be reduced by pain relief medication and a cold compress. However, this is not a long-term solution to the concern. If a chipped tooth is not dealt with properly, the pain and sensitivity are likely to linger for an extended period of time or suddenly worsen, leading to a need for more extensive treatment to address the concern.
Damage to the tooth root
If a chipped tooth is left untreated, then the root of the tooth can become damaged. A tooth infection often results when the tooth root is exposed for an extended period of time, leading to the need for root canal therapy to remove the infected dental pulp. In some instances, the tooth root may be damaged or exposed initially due to the crack, in which case, a prompt visit to the dentist is necessary.
Tooth infection and tooth loss
Ultimately, a chipped tooth that is left untreated will worsen. The inevitable result for many who do not seek treatment for a chipped tooth is a tooth infection and tooth loss. Both a tooth infection and tooth loss are far more invasive and expensive to treat than a chipped tooth, which is why seeking prompt care for a chip is highly encouraged by dentists.
An experienced dentist can treat a chipped tooth
If you have a chipped tooth, then give our dental team a call today. We can help you through each step of treatment, answering any questions and addressing any concerns that you have along the way.
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