Did you know, tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body? However, that doesn’t mean you should use your pearly whites to open bottle caps! We see a number of interesting and rare occurrences when it comes to chipping, cracking and breaking teeth. But there are several reoccurring instances, which you can avoid, to keep that smile unbreakable. Check out these five most common causes that can lead to chipped or cracked teeth.
How does someone chip, crack or break a tooth?
- Not using a mouth guard during sporting events – The American Dental Association projects “that one third of all dental injuries are sports related. The use of a mouth guard can prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries to the mouth each year.” Simply put, guard your teeth when playing sports!
- Chewing on ice or other hard objects – Ice can be very dangerous to your teeth, as well as, corn nuts and popcorn kernels. Try to avoid chewing on these hard objects. Instead of ice, you may reach for a popsicle or cold beverage. If it’s more of an addictive chewing issue, grab some sugar-free gum.
- Using your teeth as a tool to open things – “don’t open that with your mouth,” is a common phrase you may have heard growing up. For some reason, we still do it. It’s easier than finding scissors or an opener. Bottle caps may not be one you’re accustomed to doing, however, do a test and see how often you try to use your teeth to open things. And then stop!
- Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw – Most patients will find themselves grinding their teeth or clenching their jaw on occasion. Often caused by stress or anxiety, this happens while you are sleeping. Not only can teeth grinding damage your teeth, but it can also make your jaw sore and give you headaches. If you find this happening on a regular basis you need to consult with your dentist.
- Tongue and mouth piercings – A more recent cause of chipped or cracked teeth is mouth jewelry. Having a hard metal object bumping against your teeth on a regular basis, can be more harmful than the other causes mentioned. Let’s draw attention to our beautiful smile by keeping it healthy and hardware free!
“We have heard and seen some crazy stories as to how our patients have chipped, cracked or broken their teeth. We have found these five are the most common, and can be avoided. If you have concerns, please contact our office.” – Dr. Espinosa
So, what should you do if you chip, crack or break a tooth? You may panic initially, but fracturing a tooth is more startling than anything else. First, simply rinse out your mouth with warm water and use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Use a piece of wax or sugarless gum to place over any sharp edges. Refrain from eating if possible, as to not bite down on the tooth. Call so we can assess the damage and schedule to get your tooth fracture restored.
Do you have any questions you want answered? Let us know! We will include in our future blog posts. Contact our office today with any questions, comments or concerns. We look forward to hearing from you!