A chipped tooth usually occurs because of some sort of trauma, such as a fall or a blow to the mouth. It can also occur because of biting down on a substance that is too hard. If your tooth is decayed, a chip is more likely, but it can also happen to perfectly healthy teeth.Unless…
Can a Chipped Tooth Lead to Tooth Decay?
A chipped tooth can lead to tooth decay. Bacteria are always inside your mouth. A chipped tooth is a portal to decay. To understand how your damaged tooth can lead to tooth decay, here is some inside information.
How a chipped tooth leads to decay
When the tooth chips off part of it, the enamel layer becomes weak. The enamel is the tooth’s first layer of protection. Once it is compromised, it fails to do its job. The chipped portion of the tooth is now an entry point for bacteria. Small chips may look harmless, but the risk is still there.
If the chip is larger, the interior part of the tooth becomes open. The dentin and the pulp are exposed. Once bacteria reach these parts of the tooth, the infection takes hold quickly. Dentin is the layer of the tooth that holds tubes that lead to the nerves inside the tooth. Tooth sensitivity happens as bacteria work on the dentin.
Once the dentin layer decays, bacteria progress to the pulp layer. The pulp is the tooth’s innermost region that contains nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels. A damaged tooth causes the pulp to swell and become irritated. Because the tissues inside the tooth cannot expand, pressure and pain build up inside the tooth.
As the inflammation grows, an abscess forms at the bottom of the tooth. Fever and swollen lymph nodes, gums, or jaw are also symptoms of a tooth abscess. An abscessed tooth needs treatment right away before the infection reaches the jaw, neck, and head. If the damaged tooth is the root cause of the abscess, then it must be extracted.
Like a bone injury, a chipped tooth does not have a home remedy. Seeing a dentist is necessary to treat it. Early treatment of a damaged tooth prevents complications like infection. Regardless of the size of the chip, immediate dental care is an order.
Other dangers of ignoring a chipped tooth
If the patient neglects to see a dentist about the chipped tooth, other complications will arise. Pressure sensitivity is one of these dangers. When the tooth chips, it means that it has weak density. If the patient puts more pressure on the chipped tooth, there will be intense pain.
A chipped tooth has sharp, jagged edges. This places the soft tissue components of the mouth at risk of getting cuts. Once the rough edges of the tooth cut the tongue, it can become infected, as well. It would be another source of pain and worry.
The chipped tooth can also lead to tooth breakage. If the chip does not receive treatment, the tooth will continue to weaken. Any amount of pressure can cause it to shatter or break. This will result in more pain and more treatment.
The patient will also experience temperature sensitivity in the tooth. Once hot or cold foods and drinks reach the exposed root of the chipped tooth, there will be discomfort. Hot and cold foods and beverages cause shooting pain. This makes it difficult to eat and drink.
Early treatment of your chipped tooth can prevent infection and other problems
A damaged tooth can introduce bacteria into its layers. When the enamel chips off, it exposes the dentin. The infection then spreads to the pulp, leading to a tooth abscess. Prompt treatment of your chipped tooth can prevent infection and other problems such as breakage and sensitivity. Your dentist will restore your tooth and keep your mouth healthy.
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