What is a chipped tooth?

A “chipped tooth” occurs when a partial amount of the tooth detaches from the tooth and results in a disfigured and jagged tooth edge.

In most instances, a chipped tooth doesn’t hurt but it can cause the patient to feel self-conscious about their appearance (particularly if they have chipped a prominent front tooth).

Symptoms of a chipped tooth

  • A chipped tooth is usually easy to spot after a visual inspection. You may be able to tell that you’ve chipped a tooth by running your tongue over your teeth. The area that is chipped may feel jagged and uneven.
  • In some instances, your gumline may be slightly irritated around the chipped tooth.
  • It is also possible to feel pain when pressure is exerted on the tooth when chewing or biting. This is the case where the chip is near the nerves of the tooth.
  • If the chip is extensive and affects the root of the tooth, then this can cause infection. Such symptoms might include pain, sensitivity to hot and cold drinks, bad breath, and fever.

Speak to a dental professional today

Our dentists have all the experience, skill and technology required to diagnose and treat a chipped tooth. Arrange an appointment with our dental team at our central London dental clinic, situated on the prestigious Wimpole Street.

What is the most common cause of a chipped tooth?

In most instances, a chipped chip is caused by some form of physical force that causes the tooth to break. Alternatively, the tooth may be chipped by eating something particularly hard e.g., hard-boiled sweets, ice or even chewing a pen.

It is also worth noting that there are other potential causes that can weaken your teeth and make them more susceptible to being chipped:

  • Excessive consumption of sugar can produce bacteria that in turn attack and weakens enamel and the underlying dentin.
  • Excessive consumption of acid-producing food and drink such as spicy foods, coffee, and fizzy drinks can weaken tooth enamel and make it more susceptible to chipping.
  • Teeth grinding (Bruxism) places additional pressure on teeth that accelerates wear and tear and can lead to weakened tooth enamel.
  • Tooth decay, caused by poor oral hygiene, can weaken, and reduce tooth enamel.
  • Restorative treatment to combat tooth decay and cavities, such as fillings, can weaken teeth.
  • Conditions such as acid reflux, heartburn, or excessive vomiting can bring up stomach acid that can cause harm to your tooth enamel.
  • Natural aging and wear and tear, over time, can contribute to weakened tooth enamel.

How do you fix a chipped tooth?

  • There are multiple treatment options to correct a chipped tooth at Wimpole Street Dental Clinic, these include:

Reattachment

In some cases, it may be possible to adhesively bond a broken or chipped part of the tooth back onto your tooth. This is mostly the case when a larger part of the tooth is chipped of due to a trauma. It is helpful if the tooth fragment is kept moist and if you can see the dentist immediately.

Bonding/Filling

A composite filling material can be adhesively bonded to the chipped tooth and shaped to restore the tooth to its natural form and colour. An ultraviolet (UV) light is then used to harden the material. Once set, the dentist can then continue to shape and smooth the bonding down so the tooth looks natural and feels comfortable in your mouth.

Veneers

A common chipped tooth repair treatment is to place a veneer onto the front of the chipped tooth. The veneer can be shaped, and colour matched to your surrounding teeth so that it doesn’t look out of place.