Your enamel is considered the hardest substance in the body. It is even stronger than bone, and capable of chewing rough foods into mush without so much as a scratch.
Yet teeth chip. It happens to even the best of us. Brushing, flossing, and attending your dental appointments is important, but no matter how much you care for your teeth, it is possible for them to still chip.
Chipped Tooth Risk Factors
There are many situations that may cause your teeth to crack or chip. These include:
- Trauma – Such as being hit in the teeth with a baseball.
- Chewing Hard Foods – As strong as teeth are, chewing very hard candies or items can chip them.
- Tooth Decay – It is possible for your teeth to simply break when not cared for.
But because teeth are so strong, they can often withstand some of these impacts. Hockey players will tell you that even the strongest teeth will chip if they come into contact with a hard surface. But there are risk factors that may also play a role, including:
- GERD/Acid Reflux – Acids that come up from the stomach to the mouth can weaken the enamel, which makes it softer and more sensitive to hard impacts.
- Poor Diet – Acidic foods, sugars, and other foods known to break down enamel can weaken your teeth when eaten in high doses.
- Alcoholism – Alcohol has a known degenerative effect on enamel. Also, vomiting – such as after heavy drinking or a result of an eating disorder – can weaken enamel as well.
- Previous Filling – As strong as dental fillings are, they are not quite as strong as natural enamel. Teeth with fillings are often most prone to pressure damage.
- Tooth Grinding – Grinding your teeth at night may be one of the most commonly cited reasons for chipped teeth. Sometimes the grinding itself can chip the tooth.
Finally, poor dental care can weaken the tooth, which is why it is so important to see a dentist before your tooth chips.
What to Do if Your Tooth Chips
If you have a chipped tooth, the symptoms determine your next step. If you are in a lot of pain, you may need an emergency appointment as the tooth may have chipped too far and exposed the root. If you experience no pain, it is likely a bit more of a cosmetic issue, although it helps to have it fixed anyway because chipped teeth may continue to crack over time.
Contact us today to learn more.