Tag Archives: Damaged Tooth

I chipped a front tooth, can it be grow back?

I chipped one of my front teeth, but it still has the root and is a minor chip. I was wondering if adult teeth can be re-grown.

Thanks Aaron

Dear Aaron,

Unfortunately teeth that become chipped or broken do not grow back. If the chip is small your dentist will most likely place a white colored filling best known as dental bonding where the chip was and make your tooth look natural again. Sometimes when chips are so small cosmetic contouring is a good option. This is accomplished by taking a drill or laser and reshaping your chipped tooth. Usually when this procedure is done minor reshaping on your other front teeth is required as well to make your smile look more uniform. This is a very inexpensive quick procedure that requires no anesthetic.

The longer you let your chipped tooth go untreated the more prone you are to chipping the tooth even more with the possibility of having to have a porcelain veneer or porcelain crown placed. These two types of permanent restorations are more expensive than dental bonding and cosmetic contouring as well as take a longer time in the chair and more trips to the dental office. We recommend you consult your dentist to see what treatment option is best for you.

Post courtesy of Dr. Malone, Lafayette Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist


Why do my teeth have small holes at the gum line?

I was eating chips and thought I cut my gum. When I looked in the mirror I noticed that a couple of my bottom front teeth had holes in them. I changed my toothpaste, been brushing three times a day, and am using Listerine twice a day however after a month my teeth seem to be getting more holes. I have not been to the dentist for two years, are these holes cavities?

Thanks, Skylar

Dear Skylar,

It sounds like your teeth are developing cavities at the gum line and that its time for you to make a dental appointment. Tooth decay at the gum line is usually caused from a diet high in citric or ascorbic acid. These types of acids are common in sodas including diet soda, energy drinks, and fruit juices. Drinking these types of liquids on a daily basis erodes the enamel making our teeth highly weak and very susceptible to tooth decay.

There is no special toothpaste or mouthwash over the counter that is going to prevent these areas of erosion from getting worse, however improving your hygiene and greatly decreasing your intake of acidic drinks will help prevent further complications. If you have a lot of erosion of the enamel your dentist may recommend you to use a prescription toothpaste that contains a higher amount of fluoride to prevent further tooth decay.  It is recommended that if you are using Listerine make sure it contains no alcohol. Mouthwashes that have alcohol tend to make the mouth dryer, therefore causing more plaque buildup, a possibility of more tooth decay, and make ones breath not so fresh.

If the areas of tooth decay are small your dentist will most likely be able to place a tooth colored filling in the area. It the decay wraps around the tooth a more permanent restoration like a porcelain crown may be recommended.

Post courtesy of Dr. Malone, Lafayette Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist

My tooth really hurts, but I don’t have any money

I’ve got pretty bad teeth. I am missing several of my back teeth, and now I have an infection or something in one of the only molars I have left. The swelling along my jaw looks terrible! It is really embarrassing.

I don’t have a job right now, or any insurance. I am estranged from my family, so there is no one I can ask to help with any kind of medical or dental expenses. Is there anything I can do on my own to treat the infection? I am in a lot of pain.

Maria in Grand Haven

Dear Maria,

Before we offer advice on what to do, we want to make very sure we tell you what to avoid. Don’t take oral antibiotics to try and get rid of the infection without FIRST having the tooth treated. Here is why that is so important: the infection is inside a tooth, where antibiotics can’t reach it. If you treat the tooth without addressing the source, you will simply make sure that the bacteria that survive are stronger and more resistant to treatment.

An infection in a tooth is a potentially serious situation. An untreated infection could spread to your brain, or cause dangerous swelling in your throat. You really must have this addressed before it becomes far more serious and even potentially life threatening.

The infected tooth needs a root canal treatment, after which it may need to be protected by a dental crown. If that is too expensive, or if the tooth is too damaged, it may need to be extracted. When your fortunes improve, you might consider a dental bridge or dental implant to replace the missing tooth.

Ask at your local social assistance agencies if they know of a clinic where you can get this work done. Many communities have a method of connecting people in dire need like yourself to dentists who will complete the work for free or at a greatly reduced price with a payment plan. Be persistent – it is very important that you get this work done!

Good luck to you.

This blog posted courtesy of the office of Lafayette Louisiana cosmetic dentist Dr. Malone.

One of my teeth is turning dark

When I was a kid I got hit in the mouth by a wooden swing. It chipped the corner of my tooth off, and for all these years I’ve had a small filling that was apparently very well done, according to all the dentists I have seen. Now that I am considerably older, though, that tooth is starting to get dark. I noticed it starting several years ago and it has been happening very slowly, but now it is quite noticeable.

This is making me pretty self-conscious. I talked to my dentist about Lumineers, but he said there have been problems with that kind of porcelain veneer. He also said that he was reluctant to do a porcelain crown, because the canal has calcified and the structure wouldn’t be strong enough.

He really told me all about what he didn’t want to do, and didn’t offer a solution. Do you have any suggestions?


Cody in Los Angeles, CA

Dear Cody,

From the sounds of it, your dentist is uncomfortable with cosmetic procedures. It is actually a good thing that he is not offering to do procedures that he is not comfortable with, as that could have an unhappy result. Ask your dentist to refer you to a cosmetic dentist, one who has the training and experience necessary to do a really beautiful job for you.

A single porcelain veneer or even direct dental bonding would be very viable solutions to your problem, in the hands of the right cosmetic dentist. There is no reason you can’t go to a different dentist for this cosmetic procedure, and stay with your regular dentist for cleanings and regular care.

Lafayette Louisiana cosmetic dentist Dr. Mike Malone’s office provides this blog as a courtesy.