Don’t Delay Dental Care: Risks of Ignoring Cracked or Chipped Teeth

The effects associated with putting off fixing your cracked or chipped tooth

A chipped or cracked tooth is never something you can prepare for. However, if you do have one, it also isn’t something you should leave to chance. Putting off fixing a chipped tooth can have serious consequences other than a little pain. Understanding these and getting help quickly can save your tooth and your health in the long run.

What could happen?

A damaged tooth is an exposed tooth. The outer layer of our teeth is made of enamel, the hardest substance in the body. However, if this is damaged it can reveal the underlying layers, including the dentin and pulp. Pulp is a lacy network of nerves, connective tissues and blood vessels inside the teeth. If this is exposed, it can become irritated by your day-to-day chewing and jaw movement. This can grow and attract bacteria, eventually damaging the pulp, causing pain and sensitivity and eventually leading to infection. This can be extremely painful and can result in significant dental work if left unchecked.

Preventing Tooth Damage: Proactive Steps You Can Take

A proactive approach can significantly reduce the risk of chipping or cracking teeth. Here’s how you can protect your dental health:

  • Use Mouthguards: Especially important for athletes or those engaged in physical activities. A well-fitted mouthguard can absorb shock and protect your teeth from impact.
  • Avoid Hard Foods: Hard and crunchy foods like popcorn kernels, hard candies, and ice can be hazardous. Chew carefully and avoid using your teeth to crack hard objects.
  • Don’t Use Teeth as Tools: It’s tempting to open a bottle or rip a package with your teeth, but this can lead to chips or fractures. Always use the appropriate tools instead.
  • Regular Dental Check-ups: Routine visits to the dentist can help identify weak spots or small cracks that might be susceptible to further damage.

Understanding the Different Types of Tooth Fractures

Recognizing the types of tooth fractures helps in seeking appropriate dental care:

  • Craze Lines: These are superficial cracks on the enamel. They are typically not painful but may cause aesthetic concerns.
  • Fractured Cusp: This type of fracture often occurs around a filling. It may not cause pain but should be addressed to prevent further damage.
  • Cracked Tooth: This is a more serious condition where the crack extends from the tooth’s surface to below the gumline. It can worsen over time and often results in pain or sensitivity.
  • Split Tooth: A severely cracked tooth can split into two parts. This often requires immediate dental intervention to save or restore the tooth.

The Role of Dental X-Rays in Diagnosing Tooth Damage

Dental X-rays are an invaluable tool for dentists to assess the health of your teeth:

  • Detecting Invisible Cracks: Some cracks may not be visible during a regular dental exam. X-rays can reveal these hidden fractures.
  • Evaluating the Extent of Damage: X-rays help in assessing how far a crack has progressed and whether it has reached critical areas like the pulp.
  • Guiding Treatment Decisions: Depending on the X-ray results, your dentist can decide whether a filling, crown, or more extensive treatment is necessary.

Long-Term Consequences of Untreated Tooth Damage

Leaving a chipped or cracked tooth untreated can have several serious consequences:

  • Tooth Decay and Gum Disease: Openings in cracked teeth can allow bacteria to enter and cause decay or gum disease.
  • Chronic Pain and Sensitivity: Over time, a damaged tooth can lead to persistent pain and sensitivity, affecting your daily life.
  • Aesthetic Issues: Cracked or chipped teeth can lead to aesthetic problems, affecting your confidence and smile.

Maintaining Oral Hygiene with a Damaged Tooth

Proper oral hygiene can prevent further damage and infection until you get dental treatment:

  • Careful Cleaning: Brush gently around the damaged area. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid aggressive brushing.
  • Food Choices: Soft foods can prevent additional stress on the damaged tooth. Avoid sticky, sugary, and extremely hot or cold foods.
  • Rinsing Regularly: Saltwater rinses can help clean the mouth and soothe sore gums. Mix a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and rinse gently.

A cracked or chipped tooth, while common, requires immediate attention to prevent serious dental issues. Understanding the types of fractures, the importance of prompt treatment, and following proper aftercare can help maintain your dental health. Remember, regular dental check-ups and good oral hygiene practices play a significant role in preventing dental problems. Don’t let a minor issue turn into a major one – prioritize your dental health and seek professional care when needed.

How can Dental Aspects help?

In some cases, a chipped tooth can be easily fixed with a filling. However, in many cases, including often when the tooth is cracked, you will need a crown or dental veneer. This can take several visits depending on the severity of the damage. If the case is severe, root canal treatment or tooth extraction and replacement may be necessary.

If you know your tooth is cracked or chipped, visit the dentist as soon as possible. It is also important to have regular check-ups so the dentist can catch any possible cracks before they progress too far. Cracked or chipped teeth can have serious consequences but, if caught early, they can be a minor problem that can be easily fixed.

If you are worried you may have a damaged tooth or have been putting off that check-up, get in touch with our friendly team at Dental Aspects today.

Discover Our Full Range of Dental Services at Dental Aspects

At Dental Aspects, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive dental care tailored to meet the needs of each patient. Our wide range of services ensures that we can cater to all your dental requirements. Explore the services we offer:

  • General Dentistry: We provide a full suite of general dentistry services, including routine check-ups, cleanings, fillings, and preventative care to maintain your oral health.

  • Cosmetic Dentistry: Enhance your smile with our cosmetic dentistry options, from teeth whitening to veneers and more, all designed to improve the appearance of your teeth.

  • Children’s Dentistry: Our paediatric dental services focus on providing a comfortable and engaging environment for our young patients, ensuring a positive start to their dental health journey.

  • Emergency Dentist: For urgent dental issues, our emergency dentistry service is ready to provide prompt and effective care to alleviate pain and address immediate dental needs.

  • Root Canal Treatment: Our root canal treatments are performed with precision and care, focused on relieving pain and saving your natural teeth.

  • Dentures: We offer custom-made dentures to replace missing teeth, providing functionality and restoring the aesthetics of your smile.

Our team at Dental Aspects is committed to offering exceptional dental care with a gentle touch. Schedule your appointment today.

Keep Reading: Navigating Tooth Sensitivity: Causes, Solutions, And Prevention


Dr. Asmita Premsegar

Dr. Asmita is the Principal Dentist at Dental Aspects, having studied Dentistry at Griffith University after completing the Bachelor of Oral Health Therapy degree in 2008. Passionate and experienced in all aspects of dentistry, Dr. Asmita is committed to making a positive contribution to the community and the oral health sector, and loves seeing her happy patients' smiles after each visit to our clinic.

About the Author

Principal Dentist

Dr. Asmita is the Principal Dentist at Dental Aspects, having studied Dentistry at Griffith University after completing the Bachelor of Oral Health Therapy degree in 2008. Passionate and experienced in all aspects of dentistry, Dr. Asmita is committed to making a positive contribution to the community and the oral health sector, and loves seeing her happy patients’ smiles after each visit to our clinic.

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