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Your Mouth is Not…

Tooth decay sample

…A letter opener, a nail clipper, a construction nail holder, or a nutcracker. And I’ve heard worse. Though it is estimated that back molars can bite together and remain intact with over 150 pounds of force, I wouldn’t try it.  An unseen, hairline crack though these teeth could set you up for a broken tooth that requires a crown, a root canal, or both. The thinner front teeth are, naturally, even more susceptible. Patients have called for a same-day appointment because they’d opened a bag of potato chips with these teeth and a portion of their front tooth chipped. Seems appropriate to have the word “chip” in their snack description, eh?

Occasionally, Winterset receives a frantic call from someone who has chipped their front tooth right before their child’s wedding, work presentation, or while on a vacation. People take their smile for granted, until they don’t have a “normal” one. In the best-case scenario, we try to fit them into our schedule and can repair it with a tooth colored material that bonds to teeth. In the worst-case scenario, the chip extends all the way up to the nerve chamber and the tooth needs an emergency root canal, or extraction.  Once this procedure has proven stabile, the tooth will also need a crown.

Chipped back teeth are often ignored by patients, unless the tooth has sharp edges. Keep in mind that chips or cracks on the outer “enamel” layer expose the softer “dentin” layer underneath. It is common for cavities to form in this area and for the tooth to be temperature sensitive.  Sometimes, one chip leads to another chip that does more damage.

I guess one could say the same statement for that bag of chips, as well. Look at the sugar content (any word with “-ose” at the end) on the ingredients list, and see for yourself.

Contact Winterset Dental today if you have chipped a tooth.