It happens to the best of us. We suffer an accident while riding a bike. We bite into something that was a lot harder than we thought it was. We do not take care of our teeth as well as we should. Perhaps it is even just a result of stress-induced teeth-grinding. Whatever the cause, the result is the same. We wind up with a damaged tooth.
Now it can be a major inconvenience when you damage a tooth. Not least of all because it is a problem that doesn’t go away if you ignore it. Rather, it’ll just get steadily worse and worse. Leave it too long, and you may well end up with a dentistry nightmare that costs several times what you would have paid initially. That is even before we get into a truckload of other problems that frequently accompany tooth damage.
1 – Assessing the Damage
The first thing to do is to find out how bad the damage is. Only then can you work out the best way to settle the matter.
If you are lucky, then you’ve suffered a chip rather than anything more substantial. If you are luckier still, the chip in question is relatively small, and thus easily repaired. A single trip to the dentist is usually all you need to settle the matter, and this is done by literally gluing the chip back into place with specialised dental glue. As such, make sure that you find and keep the chip if this is indeed the sort of damage suffered.
Larger chips, meanwhile, will need to have a new crown fitted over the damaged areas. This procedure will take two trips to the dentist, one to get a mould of the shape of your teeth, and another to get the new crown fitted into place.
Cracked teeth are a more serious problem. If a tooth has a long crack in the enamel that reaches the soft part, you are in danger for a number of reasons. First and foremost, cracks create recesses in which food and plaque can get stuck and build up. After a while, this will cause the tooth to start to break down and make the damage even worse. This can result in degradation of the enamel, the root, or the build-up of serious tooth decay and gum disease. In worst case scenarios, the tooth may even become infected and cause a whole of other problems.
More pressingly, over time the crack in the tooth will gradually get worse. This will inevitably lead to the tooth splitting into two pieces, by which point there’s no way the tooth can be saved. It must be removed.
2 – Seeking Treatment
Whatever the damage to the tooth in question, it is essential you seek treatment from a dentist as soon as you notice a damaged tooth or teeth. If nothing else, they can assess the damage and tell you what treatment is needed, if any.
If your tooth is split or cracked, it can usually be repaired, and the tooth saved if it has been caught early enough. This is why it is important to seek out a dentist’s help the moment a problem has been spotted. Even if a damaged tooth never heals completely, you can at least control the damage and prevent it from getting any worse. You can also resume a relatively normal lifestyle again, as you’ll no longer be as plagued by the constant pains when eating, talking or just moving your mouth.
3 – Is My Tooth Damaged?
Do you experience shooting pains whenever you bite down on food or your teeth in general? Alternatively, do you feel it when drinking very hot or cold drinks? Have you suffered a serious blow to the mouth? Are you sensitive to sweet foods, even though there are no signs of decay? Is there unusually sore swelling around the gums?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these, and the symptoms are constant or frequent, then visit a dentist right away. What’s the cost of a quick check-up compared to the cost of a tooth, after all? If you need a good dentist, you can usually find one online! If you happen to be in Orlando, I would recommend visiting www.orlandosmilesinc.com.
The writer, Christian Mills, specializes in writing about oral health topics, and encourages all to take care of their teeth. If you wish to learn more about Christian you can visit his profile on Google+.