Q: I was brushing my teeth and something chipped away from the base of my lower front teeth and left a sharp space that I can feel with my tongue. What happened?
A: First things first, book an appointment with your dentist because they need to have a look and try to intervene before anything else happens. Having a sharp spot in your mouth can also be bad news since it creates an opportunity to cut your cheek or tongue, creating a risk for infection.
Chipped enamel can also cause sensitivity.
There are a few different things that could have happened. One possibility is that it was a tartar buildup that calcified and chipped off. Another option is that you were already experiencing tooth decay which made the tooth weak, and it broke off with some aggravation. With tooth decay, a cavity can weaken the tooth from the inside out to the point where it crumbles or breaks off.
If you managed to grab the piece that chipped off, you could do a quick test by pressing down on it with something hard (like a spoon) and seeing if it easily breaks. Teeth are the strongest bone in your body so they shouldn’t break — but tartar will. The colour is also a good indication of what the chipped piece is: if it’s partly brown or black, it’s probably tartar. Get to the dentist for a checkup as soon as possible.
If you suspect it’s tartar, don’t try to remove the rest of the plaque buildup yourself or you could seriously harm your teeth or gums. Try to book an appointment at one of our Winnipeg dental clinics as soon as possible. Remember: we can usually accommodate same-day bookings, so if you want relief, our dentists are happy to help.