A chipped tooth can be a great pain in the neck. In addition to making your smile look ghastly, it would probably have sharp edges that would get caught on the gums and tongue and cause bleeding or injuries.
Chipped teeth can also leave gaps in the mouth that can accumulate food particles, debris and other impurities over a period of time. This in turn can transform these areas into active breeding grounds for bacteria that could lead to several dental, oral and health related issues later on.
Many individuals believe that teeth get chipped due to dental issues. But there are plenty of other factors that can cause chipped teeth. One of the more common reasons for chipped teeth is an accident or dental trauma that can injure the tooth and cause it to break into pieces. Another common cause for chipped teeth would be eating or chewing extremely hard foods. Individuals with weak or sensitive teeth would usually face this problem.
How to Fix a Chipped Tooth Without Going to the Dentist
Getting a chipped tooth fixed does not warrant a visit to the dentist, especially if you practice proper oral hygiene and have healthy teeth and gums. There are plenty of ways by which you can fix a chipped tooth within the confines of your home. Here are some of the more common remedies that you can opt for.
Rinsing your Mouth
The first thing you would want to do after a tooth breaks is to rinse your mouth properly under running water (lukewarm). This would effectively remove miniscule fragments of the tooth that might remain in the mouth and cause damage otherwise.
If the tooth breaks into two or more large pieces, collect the pieces and store them until you visit a dentist. Chances are he/she may be able to cement the tooth back temporarily until a permanent solution is decided upon.
Treating the Injury
In most cases, a chipped tooth would bleed for some time until you rinse your mouth. If the bleeding continues afterwards as well, you would need to curb it. Placing a piece of gauze or cotton on the chipped tooth can stop the bleeding. It is also considered wise to apply a little bit of pressure on the gums holding the chipped tooth in order to contain the bleeding.
Reducing the Pain
A chipped tooth can cause pain in certain cases. A good way to reduce the pain resulting from a chipped tooth is to place a cold compress above the affected area on the cheek. Doing so would reduce the pain and discomfort, and also curb the swelling caused by the chipped tooth.
Over the counter pain killers can be helpful in reducing the discomfort and pain experienced due to a chipped tooth. Some of the more common pain killers that serve the purpose include paracetamol and acetaminophen.
It is also considered wise to refrain chewing on the side of the mouth that contains the chipped tooth. Avoiding hard foods is also considered a good way to reduce discomfort and pain until you get the tooth repaired. Staying away from extremely hot, cold or sugary foods can also prevent pain caused by increased tooth sensitivity during this period.
Filing Down a Chipped Tooth
For Miniscule Issues
If the breakage is minor (i.e. the tooth is chipped in just one small corner or only a miniscule part of the tooth is broken), a good way to fix a chipped tooth would be to file it down using an ‘emery board’. Using a mirror for guidance, carefully file down the sharp edges of the chipped tooth. You can also ask your friend or relative to do it for you.
Filing down the chipped tooth would prevent the jagged edges from causing injuries to the lips, gums or tongue. The process would also improve the aesthetic appearance of the tooth and make it blend in with the other teeth rather than sticking out like a sore thumb.
For Major Issues
In some cases, filing the chipped tooth to an extent would not yield desirable results. For instance, a tooth that breaks into large pieces or in several areas would need to be filed down completely until it becomes flat and smooth edged.
If the chipped tooth is present at the back of the mouth, there would be no need for you to worry about the final appearance. However, if the chipped tooth is present at the front of the mouth, you would probably need to file down the tooth present in the same position on the opposite side of the mouth to match the former. This may pose certain issues as in certain cases, you may end up removing more teeth than you actually wanted to.
Handling Exposed Nerves
In certain cases where a chipped tooth exposes the nerves underneath, it would become necessary to cover them up temporarily until you see a dentist about the issue. Exposed nerves can be covered using over the counter dental creams like Dentemp or dental cement (soft wax would be an alternative home remedy) which will effectively smooth the surface of the chipped tooth and fill up the gaps created by the same. This would in turn enable you to stick to your regular diet (including intake of hot, cold and sugary foods) until you get a permanent solution for the problem.
Visiting a Dentist
The above mentioned remedies may be able to help you fix a chipped tooth without visiting a dentist. However, most of these remedies offer only temporary solutions and cannot take care of the chipped tooth for long.
Chances are the tooth may break further when food particles get wedged into it. Jagged ends of the tooth that are temporarily filed or filled can damage the gums and tongue severely. Further breakage of the chipped tooth can also expose the nerves present beneath it, thereby increasing tooth sensitivity to hot, cold or sugary foods.
Another reason to visit the dentist to take care of chipped teeth is that an experienced dentist would be able to handle the issue better with the help of dental tools designed for the purpose. A dentist would be able to repair chipped teeth in cases where filing down the teeth (by self) can cause further damages to the teeth and the nearby areas. So it is always considered wise to visit a dentist to fix a chipped tooth even though you might have been able to take care of it temporarily.