Two days ago, I chipped my left front tooth. The chip is noticeable, but it doesn’t look horrible. I feel slight pain in the tooth. I was not planning to go to the dentist for the chip, but I’m concerned now. Why does the tooth hurt if the crack is not large? Thank you. Xander from Nashville,
Thank you for contacting Dr. Thomas’s office. Although a dentist would need to examine and x-ray your tooth to determine the cause of your pain, we will explain why it may hurt.
Why Does a Chipped Tooth Hurt?
A chipped tooth hurts if the damage affects the pulp or living tissue and nerves inside a tooth. Understanding tooth anatomy can help you discover the source of pain.
- Enamel – The hard, thick protective covering around the crown of your tooth
- Dentin – A slightly elastic living tissue beneath the enamel
- Pulp – Tissue, blood vessels, and nerves inside the tooth, beneath the dentin
- Cementum – The bone-like structure surrounding tooth roots that helps the roots attach to the bone
A chipped tooth can irritate tooth pulp, where the nerves signal sensitivity or pain. Also, trauma or impact to your face or teeth can irritate the pulp even if you do not see any external damage.
What Should You Do If Your Chipped Tooth Hurts?
If your chipped tooth hurts, schedule an appointment with a dentist for an exam and x-rays. Although a chip may seem minor, x-rays will reveal any internal damage. Root canal treatment removes damaged tooth pulp. The procedure is painless, and it helps preserve teeth.
Without prompt treatment, the tooth pulp will swell in your body’s attempt to fight infection. Eventually, the pulp will die, increasing the risk of losing your tooth.
Schedule an appointment with a dentist for your tooth chipped to determine the extent of the damage.
Dr. Siny Thomas, a Sugar Land, Texas dentist, sponsors this post. Dr. Thomas is a graduate of the surgical program of the Pikos Institute in Trinity, Florida.