Have one of your teeth chipped recently? Well, it happens to a lot of people, but why? After all, teeth are covered with enamel, which is the hardest substance in the human body, even harder than bone and the hardest biological substance in existence! So you’re probably asking yourself: why did my tooth chip? Simply put, it’s because your enamel may be strong, but it’s constantly under wear and tear. When your enamel wears down, it severely weakens your tooth, causes pain and makes it much easier to chip or fracture. Which brings us to this: what can you do to prevent a chipped tooth? Let’s talk about some very common causes of chipped teeth and how to keep your teeth from chipping.
Sugary Food & Drinks
This is the most common cause and your dentist has probably told you not to chew gum, drink sodas or eat sweets. But why? It’s actually really simple. Bacteria love sugar and when they break it down, they make your plaque become more acidic and break down enamel faster. This also happens with acidic foods and drinks, especially fruit. Which means just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it’s good for your teeth. Anyways, when your enamel wears down, it can cause a cavity, which is a hole in your tooth. This weakens the structural integrity of your tooth and is a leading cause of chipped teeth.
Now, if you’re not going to give up your sodas, sweets and acidic foods and drinks (don’t worry, you’re not alone!), you can still protect your enamel. Make sure to brush, floss and use mouthwash at least twice a day. Not only that, there’s certain toothpastes and mouthwashes that will strengthen your remaining enamel and help protect what you have left!
Gritting and Grinding Your Teeth
Yep. Sorry to call you out, but you might be the reason your teeth chipped so easily. A lot of people grit or grind their teeth when they’re stressed, scared, excited, happy, sad or any other emotion. It’s pretty common. It’s also pretty damaging. When you grit your teeth, your enamel is getting worn down. Which as we’ve covered, is not great. The best thing to do is to train yourself out of it. Also, try not to bite or chew really hard or “clack” your teeth together. One day, you might have a painful sensation and realized you just bit down so hard you chipped your tooth.
Surprisingly though, there’s some people who can’t help it. Or at least you think you can’t. If you grit your teeth while sleeping, which you might be able to tell by weird soreness or pain in the morning, you have what’s called Bruxism. It’s fairly common according to the Journal of Orofacial Pain, and affects between 8-31% of adults. In this case, you need to seek other methods. In some cases, Botox has been known to help people, but in most cases, you might need to visit a doctor for possible ways to train yourself out of it.
As said, your teeth are hard, but things can still happen. Did you know that teeth are harder than steel, but break more easily? It’s the way they are structured. A pretty common cause of chipped teeth are accidents. They happen. Whether it’s falling onto concrete, busting heads with somebody or getting into a car accident, these cause a lot of chipped teeth. Sometimes you can’t prevent them, but be aware of the danger of chipped teeth, especially if you’re older than 50. This study published in the Journal of Endodontics found that 64.5% of cracked teeth occurred in adults over 50, which happens because their teeth have usually lost most of their enamel.
Another pretty common cause of chipped teeth is contact sports. Every contact sport has its various dangers, but one of the biggest dangers is tooth trauma. That’s why they require mouthguards in most contact sports like football, hockey and basketball, because the forces that are being used in each game and the amount of times people end up hitting each other, accidentally or not, is very high.
About Dental Emergency Care
Dental Emergency Care is an emergency dental office located in Irving, TX. We offer both emergency dental care and general dental care for all patients. Need to get your chipped tooth checked out. We got you covered! Call us at (972) 455-8147 or schedule an appointment now!