Chipped Teeth

Chipped Teeth: Causes, Treatment, Prevention

Having chipped teeth is upsetting, especially if it keeps happening.

Although anyone can chip their tooth, for most people, it does not happen very often. So, if you have noticed that your teeth are chipping or cracking regularly, you may be wondering what’s causing it.

Chipped Teeth

From hairline cracks in teeth to broken back molars, there are several reasons why teeth may chip. The most common causes are grinding and clenching your teeth, and an unstable bite which can lead to wear and tear over time (worn down teeth). Fortunately, there are ways to prevent chips, cracks, and teeth that are wearing down too quickly.

This article addresses the causes of chipped teeth, such as grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw, as well as having an unstable bite. It also offers advice on how to prevent it, and what to do if it continues to reoccur. Finally, it addresses the treatment options available to fix teeth that keep chipping and stop further tooth wear.

What Causes Teeth to Chip?

The older you get, the more likely you are to experience tooth damage (chips, breaks, cracks). However, it can happen to anyone regardless of age. While some people are more prone to it, others are not. For example, an unstable bite will cause your teeth to crack, chip, or break over and over again while a sports injury will not.

From grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw to an unstable bite, it can happen for a number of reasons.

Chipped Teeth:

  • Grinding your teeth
  • Clenching your jaw
  • An unstable bite
  • Wear and tear
  • Tooth decay

Chipping your teeth over and over is a sign something more serious is happening. For this reason, knowing what might be causing it can help determine the type of dentist you should contact.

Not every dentist has the ability to determine the cause of recurring damaged teeth…

Teeth Grinding

One of the most common causes of chipped teeth, is teeth grinding also known as (bruxism). When the upper and lower teeth rub against each other it causes the tooth enamel to chip off. Damaged teeth (chips, cracks)  are some of the main symptoms of teeth grinding or jaw clenching.

Signs of Teeth Grinding

Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw while you are sleeping puts a lot of strain on your teeth and jaw muscles. Left untreated, over time it can cause TMJ, a painful condition that can cause even more problems. So, if you have noticed that your teeth are chipping away, it might be a sign that you are grinding your teeth, clenching your jaw or both.

Teeth Grinding Symptoms

  • Chipped or cracked teeth (that chip or crack even after getting them fixed)
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Tooth fracture
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Jaw locking or popping

Signs of Jaw Clenching

Jaw clenching is common. For some, it happens during the day (stress), and for others it happens when they are sleeping (bruxism). Left untreated, it can lead to headaches, jaw pain, and damage to your teeth. It can also lead to a condition called Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ).

It is common in both adults and children, and can be caused by a wide range of factors, including anxiety, stress, misaligned teeth, and even sleep disorders (snoring or sleep apnea). Left untreated, it can cause serious dental problems and pain.

Jaw Clenching Symptoms

  • Jaw pain and stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Face, neck, and shoulder pain
  • Chipped, cracked, or broken teeth
  • Worn down teeth

Chipped Tooth Repair

If you’re reading this article, you might be wondering if you can fix a chipped tooth. Treatment depends on the size of the chip — small ones may only require a filling, while larger ones may need dental bonding. And, in other cases, you might require more extensive repairs such as veneers or crowns. In any case, you should definitely get your teeth fixed if you notice a chip or crack. That’s because the longer you wait, the more damage it can cause. For example, it can cause tooth decay which in turn can cause tooth sensitivity and ultimately lead to tooth loss.

The good news is, there are several restorative treatment options.

Restorative Treatments

There are several treatments that can help reverse the issue and restore your smile! This could include cosmetic dentistry, such as dental bonding or veneers, to strengthen and reshape your teeth. You could even get a smile makeover to restore the size and shape of your teeth. 

No matter what treatment you need, the best way to ensure you do not keep damaging your teeth is to find out what is causing it. And, the only way to do that is by finding a dentist who can assess why it’s happening in the first place.

Prevention

Having a chipped tooth can be a frustrating and embarrassing experience. To prevent further damage to your teeth, contact a dentist like Dr. Bernie Villadiego who can assess why it’s happening in the first place. His goal is to restore harmony to the joints, teeth, and muscles, which can help alleviate pain, eliminate unnecessary wear and tear, and other issues that can arise from an unstable bite (one of the main causes of damaged teeth).