Why Do My Teeth Keep Chipping and Breaking & What Can Be Done About It?

Chipped and breaking teeth are uncomfortable, unsettling and unsightly. If the surface of the tooth enamel gets damaged, its appearance gets distorted and it makes the individual more vulnerable to other oral health issues. Thus, one must be extra careful and must do everything it takes to avoid the occurrence of teeth breaking and chipping.

Why Do My Teeth Keep Chipping and Breaking?

Why Do My Teeth Keep Chipping and Breaking?

If you are wondering why my teeth keep chipping and breaking, it is necessary to know some of the related conditions. Following are some common reasons because of which the teeth might keep chipping and breaking:

Bruxism – Excessive jaw clenching and teeth grinding is called bruxism. One out of three people suffer from bruxism, which is one of the commonest causes of why teeth keep chipping and breaking. Constant grinding of teeth causes dental erosion, especially at the chewing surface. Weakened enamel chip off and break easily even when slight pressure is applied on it.

High-Impact Sports – One of the leading causes of teeth chipping and breaking is oral trauma. Engaging in any kind of athletic activity or zestful exercise can put the teeth at high risk of chipping and breaking. Colliding, tripping and falling in course of the activity can cause one or more of the teeth to get chipped. While playing high impact sports, like professional soccer, hockey, basketball and throw ball, the players must take extra care of their teeth and must cover them with a protective oral appliance.

Decay – One of the other most important reasons why teeth keep chipping and breaking is bacterial infection. Bacteria, which cause cavities, release acids that corrode the enamel and trigger its break down and discoloration. Teeth with cavities and bacterial infection are more susceptible to chipping and breaking. A dentist can rightly evaluate the cavity and advice the best treatment for restoring the tooth. In some cases, where the tooth decays extensively and goes down to the bone, it may need to be extracted.

Poor Nutrition – The chance of dental chipping depends greatly on what one eats. Consuming a diet which comprises of highly acidic, starchy, or sugary foods can cause enamel erosion making the teeth more vulnerable to decay. Further, eating snacks which put excess pressure on the teeth can increase the risk of dental damage.

What Can Be Done About Chipped And Broken Teeth?

Those people who have their primary set of teeth chipped or broken are luckier than other, as these teeth eventually fall out and get replaced. However, if the adult teeth get chipped or broken then they can stay this way for a lifetime if not treated. It is important to know as to what can be done about chipped and broken teeth.

Since minor chips, fractures and breaks do not always cause any discomfort of pain, they generally go unnoticed. It is best to seek a dentist’s opinion and plan appropriate dental treatments.

Dental Treatments for Chipped and Broken Teeth

Some of the dental treatment options include

  • Teeth, which are slightly chipped on the edges are often painless and problem-free. The dentist generally repairs a minor chip by smoothing the edge and inserting a tooth filling, that matches the color of the original tooth. This helps to prevent the chip from cutting the tongue or lips.
  • Seriously broken and severely fractured teeth may need complicated treatments, particularly if they are caused by cavities. If caused by a large cavity, the fracture or break is often extremely painful and increases the risk of infection. In these cases, root canal treatment may need to be administered to deal with the problem.
  • For chipped and breaking teeth, which are not accompanied with infection or pain, dental crown and veneer can be considered.
  • For ones whose teeth have become completely rotten or decayed and also broken, getting the affected teeth extracted is highly recommended.

While these are some of the dental treatments that a dentist plans according to the condition, you also need to know what can be done at home for chipping and breaking teeth.

Self-care Tips for Chipped and Broken Teeth

For oral infections or dental problems with infection and pain, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics may be prescribed and they help to control the infection and pain. In addition to this, there is a lot that can be done to protect and manage chipping and breaking teeth.

  • Maintain good oral hygiene
  • Rinse the mouth with lukewarm water and apply pressure, using a wet tea bag or wet gauze, on the area which is bleeding to control bleeding.
  • Apply icepack to the swollen cheek can help to reduce the swelling.
  • A broken tooth should be kept covered with saline solution, saliva or milk.

Pain in the area can be managed by taking non-prescription pain reliever like paracetamol or acetaminophen. Brushing should be completely avoided when tooth break occurs and a dentist should be consulted as soon as possible. Dental breaks and fractures are generally treated using one or a combination of crowns, fillings and root canal treatments.

Knowing why you teeth keep chipping and breaking can help you keep dental damages at bay. Along with appropriate dental hygiene, something more can be done about it, which includes following a healthy lifestyle and appropriate dietary choices.

Visit a dentist regularly to detect chipping and breaking teeth. Even the ones with otherwise perfectly healthy teeth can develop a fracture or break them by accident. Timely detection can prevent further complications.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 30, 2018

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