Chipping a tooth is a fairly common problem to have. Everything from very hard food to an injury, like being in a car accident, can potentially chip teeth. However, chipped teeth are difficult for both dentists and their patients, because many patients put off getting help. Even if your chipped tooth seems like it'll be okay for now, you should really seek emergency assistance right away. Here's what you could be up against otherwise.

Further Damage

With a chipped tooth, it may seem like there's barely any visible damage, so it may seem like it's ok to put off getting help. However, even if your tooth is barely chipped, it may not stay that way without help.

People's teeth are shaped the way that they are so that they evenly distribute pressure across the entire biting surface. However, with a chipped tooth, that structure is lost. Having a chunk of the tooth missing means other parts, which may already be structurally weakened, end up being put under more pressure than usual. This can quickly lead to a tooth with only a minor chip developing a much more serious one, or worse yet, breaking the tooth entirely.

To make matters worse, if you suffer another chip or further damage to the tooth, you're likely to experience a lot of pain. The nerve endings of a tooth are hidden deep inside it, but when a large chunk of the tooth chips away, it can expose these to the surface, causing serious discomfort.


Another problem you could end up facing without getting dental attention is an infected tooth.

Teeth may look like they're just made of a hard layer of bone, but they actually have multiple layers of different materials and tissues. The interior of the tooth is made up of living tissue, and it's supposed to be protected by the outer layers of the tooth, like the enamel.

With a chip out of a tooth, it's possible for the inner portion of a tooth to become exposed. This can create a lot of pain, but it also means that you're at risk of having your tooth infected. Any bacteria that normally roams around your mouth will be able to attack the soft pulp and dentin of the tooth, breaking it down and building inflammatory plaque and tartar all around it.

If a tooth infection becomes serious enough, it's often necessary to perform a root canal. However, if your tooth is already chipped and also has a severe infection, it may not be possible to save it. In this instance, only extracting the tooth would be possible. What seems like a minor cosmetic issue now could turn into a much bigger problem for you.

For more information on emergency dental services, contact a professional near you.