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Chipped Tooth - or did I?
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Chipped Tooth - or did I?

I'm a 26 year old male. I take good care of my teeth (I use a water flosser and electric tooth brush twice a day plus I rinse my mouth 2 - 3 times a day and use regular floss every other day or so)

I have had yellow discoloration on the back side of my 4 front bottom teeth for a while now. I didn't notice it because I don't usually look back there but one day I happened to see it. So, now I have been focusing on this portion of my mouth during brushing for the last 4 - 5 months with my electric tooth brush. These teeth are not straight and so it makes it all the more difficult for me to brush as we could not afford braces when I was a child and my professional career simply will NOT allow them now (this is a problem for another day).

At any rate - today after I ate breakfast I nonchalantly picked at something in between my two front bottom teeth and to my shock a chunk of my tooth came off at the base in the back (bottom anterior incisor). There was (and still is) absolutely no pain, so at first I assumed that I must have had a big piece of food stuck back there so I reached back and felt at the tooth with my fingernail, which caught on the gap and took ANOTHER piece off, only this time on the left tooth.

All in all, 3 of my incisors now have "chunks" missing at the base. But under the chunks, there is still a tooth attached to the gumline. It's as though the tooth is very brittle and the outside of it just flaked off. The "pieces" that come off are brittle in nature and easily broke into smaller pieces when I put pressure on them. They also have some very faint black smudging on the side that was touching the tooth, but this smudging is rare and inconsistent. However, the odd part is that I seem to recall having this happen (to a lesser degree) a few times before - but always with tiny itty bitty pieces. These pieces are about a 1/7th the size of the tooth each. I wonder if what it really is is tartar build up that has been loosened from focusing on this area for so long with my electric tooth brush. I can't imagine 3 of my teeth just suddenly having chunks break off from casual pressure from a fingernail - especially with NO pain or sensitivity to heat or cold. Another interesting tidbit is that the teeth look more distinct now. This further leads me to believe that there is a layer of tartar covering the bottom of my four rear incisors and this is what broke off.

So, as of now, 3 of my bottom incisors have a "gap" between the gum and the tooth in the back. I tried taking pics with my digital camera but they didn't come out.

I am leaving to Japan for a week 4 days from now on a trip that I MUST go on. I can't have anything crazy done to my teeth before then. If it is just tartar buildup flaking off - what can I do? If it isn't - and there is no pain - can my teeth wait 2 weeks? Should I just try to remove the rest of this or leave it as it is?


Thanks for the help!
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Avatar_n_tn
HOLY ****. It was tartar. I had absolutely no idea all this time why my teeth were so white and then these 4 bottom incisors were yellow on the back. Well, after I did some research and got a dental scaler from walmart I went at it and the "cracked tooth" was actually covered with calcified tartar.

I have a graduate degree (MBA) from a top 10 school and I had no idea that THAT is what tartar was. I thought tartar was yellow stains and black was black stains. I had no IDEA that tartar could calcify over your teeth! All this time I had been brushing over the top of tartar - but I bet my concentrated efforts were enough to, over time, dislodge it enough so that it finally broke off. Now I've used the scaler and I have 4 perfectly whole teeth back there (the scary part is that they looked whole before! But now I can definitely see the difference) and my tooth is NO chipped.

How funny - in the past I thought that my teeth were crumbling and so I tried NOT to chip away the tartar. I thought I would somehow break my tooth. Now I'm just going at it with the dental scaler (reasonably) and this stuff is just flaking away and my teeth are hard as a rock and (FINALLY) white underneath.

I also purchased some ACT mouthwash to go along with my Listerine (I use after eating) and my whitening mouthwash (I use before bed). I'll make an appointment with a dentist when I get back from Japan.

I've seen similar posts to this on the internet so at least I'm not the only confused one here.

I'd still appreciate any tips, comments or advice.
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Avatar_m_tn
this just happened to me, i was on the phone looking for an emergency dentist!! Thpught my teeth were chipping off! phew thanks! wow and i am a pharmacist (feel really dumb right now!). thanks though, i can sleep well tonight.
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