• Chipped Tooth


A common dental injury of which many are at risk of is a chipped tooth. This dental condition does not cause much pain,but with proper dental attention by an experienced dentist, it can be successfully treated.Using a broad range of dental procedures, you can be guaranteed of a happy end.

One of the strongest substances in the human body is the enamel. This is the protective covering over your teeth — although it is very strong, it has its limit.

Excessive wear and tear can make your teeth chip; a forceful blow can also affect it. This will make the surface of the tooth jagged; it can disfigure the tooth and make it sharp and tender. If you have a chipped tooth, you can visit our dental clinic for a suitable treatment option by our expert dentists.

Causes of Chipped Teeth

There are several factors that can lead to chipped tooth and the most common causes are:

  • Grinding your teeth while you sleep
  • Engaging in contact sport without using a mouthguard
  • Car accidents and falls
  • Biting hard substances such as candy or ice

Risk Factors for Chipped Teeth

Your teeth are more likely to chip when the enamel is weak when compared to those with strong teeth.

Some factors that reduce the strength of your enamel and tooth are:

  • Grinding your teeth while sleeping can wear out your enamel
  • Cavities and tooth decay, they destroy your enamel. Your teeth can also be weakened by large fillings.
  • Ageing: As you age, your teeth enamel wear out over time. People who are 50 years old and older have weak and increased risks of weak enamel.
  • In a study published in the Journal of Endodontics, almost 2/3 of people with cracked teeth are over 50 years of age.
  • Eating too much sugar and sugary foods. Sugar feeds bacteria, and they can affect your teeth. These dangerous bacteria attack your enamel and cause tooth decay.
  • Excessive drinking can wear out your enamel.
  • Eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa make the enamel to wear out. People with this condition vomit frequently, and the acid in this vomitus can destroy the enamel.
  • Digestive conditions such as heartburn and acid reflux can destroy stomach acid by bringing stomach acid up into your mouth. This damages your enamel when it comes in contact with your tooth.
  • High intake of acid-producing foods can weaken your enamel and expose the surface of your teeth. Examples of foods that produce acids are fruit juices, spicy foods, and coffee.

The Teeth at Risk of Chipping

Teeth at risk of chipping are those that are weak. However, some teeth are more prone to weakness than others. A study showed that the second lower molar is more prone to chipping because it has a fair amount of pressure when chewing.

Teeth that are filled are also prone to chipping and intact teeth also. The best preventive measure is to know what’s right for your teeth and what’s not and practice good dental hygiene.

Signs and Symptoms of Chipped Tooth

You might not know you have a chipped tooth at all especially if it is not located at the front of your mouth or if it is minor. However, if it is major, you will notice the following:

  • Pains resulting from pressure on the tooth when biting. The pain can be intense if the chip exposes your teeth nerves or near the nerves.
  • Your tongue can be irritated by constantly rubbing against the uneven and rough surface of the tooth.
  • The gum around the chipped tooth will be irritated
  • You will feel a jagged surface when you run your tongue over your teeth

If you notice any of these symptoms, do not hesitate to visit us in London for advice and diagnosis.

How a Chipped Tooth is diagnosed

Our dentist in London visibly inspects your mouth to diagnose chipped tooth. We also take your symptoms into account and ask you questions concerning the events that might have caused the chipping.

Treatment Options for Chipped Tooth

Generally, the treatment of chipped tooth depends on where it is located. It also depends on the symptoms and severity. We don’t treat the chipped tooth as an emergency except it is causing you severe pain, and severely affecting eating and sleeping.

However, you should book an appointment with our dentist in London as soon as possible. This will help prevent the damage from getting further, and it will also prevent tooth infection.

We treat a minor chip by smoothing and polishing the affected tooth.  If your case involves more extensive chips, we will recommend any of the following treatment above.


In this case, a plastic (resin material) or layers of ceramic (porcelain) is applied to the surface of the tooth. It is shaped to take the form of your tooth and then it is cemented using ultraviolet light.

This hardens the materials, and more shaping is done after drying. This ensures that the materials fit into your tooth exactly. This bond can last for up to a decade.

Dental Onlays

This method of treatment is used if the chip affects only a part of your tooth. In this case, a dental onlay is applied to the surface of the molars. A full dental crown is used if the damage to the tooth is much. This process requires anaesthesia; this ensures you don’t feel pain while the dentist works on your teeth and create room for the onlay.

In most cases of dental onlay, the dentist will send a mould of your tooth to a dental lab for the creation of the onlay. This would be fitted on your tooth once it is made and then cemented or fastened to your tooth.

With the great advance in technology now, some dentists can mill porcelain and create these onlays right there in their office and fasten them to your tooth that same day. Dental onlays can last for decades if they are well taken care of. But how long it lasts depends on some factors such as the type of foods you eat and the tooth/teeth that were affected.

You should try not to eat lots of foods that put pressure on the onlays. For instance, you can get a lot of pressure on your molars when you chew foods. This will make the onlays wear easily.

Tooth Reattachment

If your tooth broke and fell off and you still have the fragment, you can put it in a glass of milk to keep it moist and come with it to our office. The calcium in the milk will keep it moist.

If you don’t have milk, you can tuck it in your gum, but you have to be careful not to swallow it. Then come to us immediately. We might be able to cement the fragment back on your tooth.

Porcelain Veneer

This requires an impression of your tooth which your dentist will make and send to a dental lab so that they can make the veneer. You will be given a temporary veneer in the meantime.

When this permanent veneer is ready, the dentist will bond it to your tooth. Before the bond, the dentist will smooth away some of your enamel on the affected tooth.

This is done to create room for the veneer. This veneer can last for up to 30 years because it is made of durable materials.

The Costs of Treatment

The costs of these treatments differ significantly and this depends on the part of the country you live in.

Other factors that affect the cost of these treatments are the tooth involved, the extent of the damage, if the pulp (nerves of the tooth) is affected, etc. You can visit us at the Cosmetic Dentistry Clinic to get a reasonable pricing tag for your treatment.

How to Take Care of a Chipped Tooth

The first and most important thing to do is to get a dentist to repair or treat the chipped tooth. There are some necessary steps you have to take to reduce the risk of injury to your teeth until you get to a dentist.

Below are some of the things you can do:

  • Put a temporal dental filling material like a teabag, dental wax, or sugar-free gum over the rough surface of the affected tooth. This will protect your tongue and gum from irritation.
  • Take a painkiller if you are in so much pain
  • Put a piece of ice on your cheeks if the chipped tooth is irritating the area
  • Do a quick floss to expel food materials caught inbetween your teeth. This can create more pressure on the chipped tooth when you chew.
  • Don’t chew using the chipped tooth
  • Rub clove oil around the painful gum; this will numb the area to pain
  • When you want to engage in sports, wear a mouthguard.
  • If you grind your teeth at night while sleeping, you should also wear a mouthguard.

Complications Chipped Tooth Cause

An extensive chipped tooth can affect the root of the tooth, and this can raise your risk of infection. A root canal is often used to treat this.

Symptoms of tooth infection are:

  • A swollen gland in your jaw area and your neck
  • Sour taste in your mouth or bad breath
  • High temperature
  • Increased sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Pain when eating

A chipped tooth is not a dental emergency, but you have to get treatment as quickly as possible to reduce your risks of infection and other dental damages. You will recover fast when the dental procedure is complete.

Do pay a visit to us today at Cosmetic dentistry Clinic in London for more information and suitable treatment options for your chipped tooth. Put a call across to us today on 020 71830755— we look forward to hearing from you!