Repairing Chipped or Broken Teeth
How Do You Chip or Crack Your Teeth?
Enamel, which covers your teeth and is the hardest substance in your body, has its limits. If you chew on hard candy, ice, bite down hard, receive a blow to your face or grind your teeth in your sleep, your teeth can chip or crack. Even poor hygiene and cavities can weaken your teeth and make them more susceptible to being chipped or cracked. You may not even feel any tooth pain when you chip a tooth unless it’s large enough to expose the inner layer of your tooth. A cracked tooth might only affect the enamel and it would not feel pain unless you bite down hard or when the temperature in your mouth changes. Many times you won’t even be able to see a cracked tooth with the naked eye. This is why it’s so important to schedule regular appointments with us, because we will be able to find problems before they become painful.
What Types of Broken or Chipped Teeth Would We Recommend Fixing
Craze lines are tiny cracks in your teeth. These types of cracks only affect the outer layer of your enamel. They’re very common in adults. They are extremely shallow and they don’t cause pain. Although they are not cosmetically pleasing, they’re not dangerous. Our doctors would not recommend fixing these types of cracks.
A fractured cusp is a fracture at the point of a tooth on the chewing surface. A cusp can become weakened and break off itself or it may need to be removed by one of our doctors. If it’s removed the pain will usually be relieved. Fractured cusps rarely damage the pulp of your tooth, so root canal treatment is usually not necessary. To repair the tooth back to normal we may recommend a crown.
With cracked teeth, some cracks extend all the way from the chewing surface down into the root of your tooth. Depending on the position of the cracked tooth damage to the pulp can happen. In many cases, we would recommend root canal treatment to fix a cracked tooth.
A split tooth happens when a tooth is cracked and over time the crack progresses and the tooth eventually splits into two separate parts. Depending on the gravity of the split we may not be able to save the tooth intact. Depending on the position and extent of the crack we will determine whether part of the tooth can be saved with a crown or another restorative procedure.
Vertical root fractures are cracks that begin in the root of a tooth. Because the fracture line may not be visible, we have to pay special attention to your symptoms in order to identify if you have one. Vertical root fractures are some of the most difficult fractures to identify. They are often fixed through Endodontic treatment. It’s possible to save some of the teeth but in many cases, the tooth needs to be removed.
How To Prevent Cracked or Chipped Teeth
It’s difficult to completely prevent chipped or cracked teeth because almost everyone ends up with them. Here are a few ideas that we suggest to prevent unnecessary damage.
Don’t chew on ice, popcorn kernels, pens, hard candy, or other hard objects.
Don’t clench or grind your teeth.
If you clench or grind your teeth while sleeping, speak with one of our doctors about getting a retainer or mouthguard.
When playing contact sportswear a mouthguard.