How Chipped Teeth Invite Tooth Decay

When a person has chipped teeth, they are more likely to have to deal with tooth decay. A chipped tooth is not always a dental emergency but ignoring it should never be an option.

Even if the chip is barely noticeable when you smile and does not cause any pain, the tooth is no longer protected against the many things in a person's mouth that can cause damage.

How does tooth decay form?

Tooth decay occurs when a person's teeth encounter acids. There are acids in the beverages and foods that you consume. Also, bacteria in your mouth produce harsh acids.

The bacteria consume food particles that are left over after meals and excrete acids after digesting this food. The bacteria also form a sticky film called plaque which sticks to teeth. It houses the bacteria and the acids they produce, allowing them to do more damage to teeth.

The reason why healthy teeth can withstand the barrage they are constantly facing is that the outer layer of the tooth protects them. This layer is called the enamel. It is the strongest part of the body.

Tooth decay and chipped teeth

When a person practices good oral hygiene and takes good care of their teeth, the enamel can withstand the short periods it is exposed to acids, keeping the person's teeth healthy.

However, when a person has chipped teeth, the damage removes a portion of the enamel. This leaves the person's teeth in a compromised position. It is just like cutting a large hole in a tent during a storm. It does not matter how small the hole is, the tent's floor will eventually get wet.

Once you damage the tooth’s enamel, the inner layers are exposed to the acids and bacteria in the person's mouth. The inner layers are not built to withstand such corrosive forces and cavities will eventually start to form.

If you do not see a dentist to treat these cavities, they will make their way to the pulp chamber and expose the tooth's nerve. At that point, a root canal is needed to prevent the loss of the tooth.

If a severe infection forms in the tooth, the dentist might recommend an extraction.

Treatment options for chipped teeth

1. Crowns

Crowns are often used to address chipped teeth. Also called caps, these prosthetics sit over the damaged tooth. A crown encloses the part of the tooth that can be seen above the gum line and protects it from further damage. The crown restores the function of the tooth as well as its appearance.

2. Composite bonding

Composite bonding is another popular treatment used to fix a chipped tooth. The dentist applies the resin directly to the tooth and molds it into the desired shape. It restores the appearance and function of the damaged tooth and protects it from acids and bacteria in the person's mouth.

Do not ignore your chipped teeth

Your teeth may be healthy, but even a small crack or chip can lead to tooth decay.

Call our office if you have chipped teeth to see what our dentists can do for you.

Are you considering repairing your chipped teeth in the Scottsdale area? Get more information at

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: What Should I Do If I Chip My Tooth.

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