What causes chipped and broken teeth?
Dr. Rupali Wankhede Panpate
Banasawadi, Bengaluru Apr 12, 2019
Though our teeth are one of the hardest parts of the body, chipping and breaking of teeth is not unheard of. There are various reasons which may lead to chipping or breaking of the teeth. In some cases, when the chipping or fracture is minor, it may not cause any discomfort, but if a significant portion of the teeth is chipped off, it may cause pain. Besides, if the nerve endings get exposed, it may make the teeth sensitive to hot or cold food or drinks or even air.
Identifying a chipped tooth:
Some common symptoms of a chipped tooth are:
- Feeling of an uneven surface when you run your tongue over the teeth.
- Irritation of the gum surrounding the chipped tooth.
- Difficulty biting through the chipped tooth.
- If the nerve endings are exposed due to chipping, eating hot or cold food items may cause pain and discomfort. Even breathing through the mouth or exposure of the chipped area to air can cause discomfort.
The cause of chipping or breaking:
As mentioned, there are various reasons which may lead to chipping or breaking of teeth. Some of these common causes are:
- Eating or biting down on hard substances.
- Falling and hurting teeth.
- Trauma caused due to accidents etc.
- Playing sports like boxing etc. without a mouth guard.
- Excessive grinding the teeth while awake or asleep (bruxism).
Besides the above-mentioned causes, there are certain risk factors which make the chipping and breaking of the teeth more likely. Some of the risk factors include:
- Tooth decay and cavities make the teeth more prone to chipping and breaking.
- Large fillings may also weaken the teeth.
- Eating a high amount of acid-producing food items.
- Frequent acid reflux.
- Eating sugary food items.
- Age is another risk factor, as enamel gradually wears down with age.
The treatment of chipped or broken tooth depends on the severity of the condition, the location of the tooth, and other such factors. Some common treatment options for broken and chipped tooth are:
- If the broken or chipped part of the tooth is still available, the dentist may reattach the tooth.
- A composite plastic or porcelain material may be bonded on to the chipped area.
- Veneer is another feasible and popular treatment method. A veneer can last for up to thirty years, making it a favorable choice for chipped or fractured teeth.