Your teeth are made from enamel, the hardest substance in the human body. This means that with good care, your permanent teeth should last a lifetime. Unfortunately, however, teeth can break, chip or shatter leaving you in need of an emergency dentist to fix the damage and repair your smile. Why do teeth break? And what’s the best way to fix them? Let’s find out more below.
Common Reasons Why Teeth Break
Your teeth can break for various reasons, some obvious and others that might take you by surprise. Here are the most likely reasons why your teeth might crack or break:
Impact or Injury
If you fall or sustain a blow to the jaw, chin or mouth, this may result in a tooth or teeth getting chipped, broken or shattered.
Biting Something Hard
You might crunch down on ice cubes or hard candies all the time but one day it may result in your tooth unexpectedly breaking.
If you have gum disease or your teeth have been weakened from fillings or root canal treatments, they are more prone to breaking.
Grinding Your TeethSometimes you may not even be aware that you grind your teeth as it commonly happens at night when you’re asleep. Over time, however, grinding and clenching of the teeth can lead to damage.
Types of Breaks or Cracks in Teeth
As well as different reasons for damage to the teeth, there are also different ways they can be damaged. In the event of any damage to your tooth, be sure to check in with your dentist as soon as possible. Even if you think it’s not that bad, it can get worse and end up causing pain, an infection or loss of the tooth. Patients in Marietta, GA can contact Kenmar Dental for the best in cutting edge dental technology.
Here are some different examples of how your tooth can crack or break.
- Cracked Tooth – while the tooth might still be in one piece, a crack can go from the surface all the way to the gum line. This can also be called an incomplete crown fracture.
- Craze Lines – these only affect the outer enamel and are surface hairline cracks. As they are superficial, they don’t require emergency treatment, although they might not look very nice.
- Fractured Cusp – this is when part of a tooth’s chewing surface breaks. It often happens around fillings and you might not even notice it.
- Split Tooth – as the name suggests, this is when a tooth breaks into two vertical parts. It is usually due to injury or severe tooth decay.
- Vertical Root Fracture – this type of damage starts at the root and can extend all the way up to the surface of the tooth.
While breaking, shattering or cracking a tooth is something of a nightmare scenario, most cases can be easily fixed or repaired with a trip to an emergency dentist.
How To Fix Broken or Shattered Teeth
Don’t worry, even with one or more broken teeth, there are options to get your smile looking like new again. Your dentist has several methods at their disposal, depending on the type and extent of the breaks.
Minor chips and breakages can be repaired with dental bonding, color matched to the rest of your tooth. This is a quick, affordable option to repair small portions of damaged teeth. If your tooth has broken and you have the pieces, put them in a glass of milk and bring them to your dentist. In some cases, it may be possible to reattach them.
A crown is an artificial tooth cap that covers a broken, decayed or damaged tooth. It looks natural and will restore functionality straight away. Crowns can be applied to teeth where there is no damage to the root.
For cosmetic issues such as unsightly craze lines, veneers might be the way to go. They are thin porcelain shells that are fixed directly to the outer surface of a tooth. They can also cover and restore the look of a broken front tooth, for example.
If a tooth is so damaged that it needs to be removed, or if there is damage to the root, a dental implant is the most effective way to replace it. A metal implant is inserted into the jawbone and a realistic crown is attached to the top.
Protect Your Teeth From Breaking
It’s not always possible to protect your teeth from damage but there are some steps you can take to minimize the risk:
- If you’re playing sports, wear a mouthguard. A custom mouthguard from your dentist offers the best protection for your teeth.
- Avoid crunching down on hard foods such as ice, hard candies etc.
- Do not use your teeth for anything other than eating! This includes things like opening bottles with your teeth, using them to cut tape and chewing on things like pencils.
- Consider a nightguard to protect your teeth from grinding (bruxism) when you’re asleep. For the most comfortable and safe night guard, you can get a custom fitting one from your dentist.
What To Do If Your Tooth Breaks in Marietta, GA
If you suffer any damage to your teeth, from a minor chip to a shattered tooth, contact your dentist as soon as you can. If possible, bring any broken parts with you when you arrive. Most dentists keep space in their day for emergency appointments so don’t delay in seeking treatment. Patients suffering from tooth damage in Marietta, GA can contact Kenmar Dental for expert restorations in a welcoming environment.