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What to Do if You Chip a Tooth Playing Baseball

Posted on April 10, 2018 by Martin Banks

Spring is here, and it’s time to play ball! Baseball is a great sport that’s suitable for a wide range of ages. However, the nature of a sport that features a high-velocity ball can lead to injury, one of the most common being a tooth chipping. If your tooth chips during a baseball game, leave immediately and consult a dental professional, even if there is no pain or blood. Call your dentist and make an appointment as soon as possible, since timeliness plays a role in whether the dentist can save your tooth.


Baby or Adult Tooth?

It’s important to identify the chipped tooth. If a baby tooth is chipped, you probably don’t need to do anything, since the tooth will fall out on its own naturally. The chipped tooth may look funny, but poses no risk to dental health if it’s a baby tooth. The only exception is if there is an injury to the gums also, or the chipped tooth causes a sharp edge. Either scenario will be easy to see or detect. If the tooth is jagged, a dentist can remove the sharp edges and contour the tooth for safety and aesthetic appeal.

If the chipped tooth is a permanent tooth, you should call a dental professional and schedule an appointment ASAP. Dentists may be able to do a root canal or cosmetic procedure to save the tooth, though in some cases the tooth may need to be pulled. Either way, it’s strongly recommended to seek the advice of a dental professional whenever your tooth suffers any damage. Even if your tooth does not hurt, you still need to seek care, since a chipped tooth can create an opening for bacteria that can cause cavities.

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The Dentists’ Advice

The primary advice from dentists for a chipped tooth is to retrieve the tooth and reinsert it into the mouth, either in the hole it left or in the cheek. Do not touch the root on top of the hole. If you cannot place the tooth back into your mouth, put the tooth in milk or Hank’s Balanced Solution, readily available in many schools. Dentists recommend putting the tooth back in since there is a periodontal ligament around each one, and cells can die if it starts to dry out. Placing the tooth back into the mouth can prevent this drying process.

As far as what to expect at the dentist, a dental professional will position the tooth and splint the tooth with a plastic material that holds the tooth in place until reattachment, which takes about 10 days. Dentists are likely to take X-rays to see if there’s a fracture of the root. If the fracture is too far up the root, the tooth is not fixable. However, a repairable tooth can undergo veneer or crown treatment, with a root canal the option if the chip is deep into the nerve.

If the tooth is beyond saving, other options exist, such as a tooth implant and partial denture. However, a tooth implant is costly, and a partial denture requires great care. Nonetheless, a chipped tooth can be easily resolved by a dental professional, who you should consult immediately after any tooth-related injury.

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