A chipped tooth is defined by a tooth breaking above the gumline and a portion of the outer enamel layer completely separating. This often occurs as the result of trauma or impact to the face and mouth.
Small fractures or “chips” involving only the tooth enamel are the least severe and pose the least risk of potential tooth loss. However, they often affect the appearance of your smile and can create sharp edges to the tooth that cause discomfort.
As part of the diagnostic process, typically your doctor will take a series of x-rays of the area to verify additional injury beyond what is visible has not occurred.
It is important to seek treatment for a chipped tooth so that your doctor can evaluate the area, rule out additional injury, and restore your damaged tooth to its optimal appearance and function.