Chipping and cracking teeth can range from a minor cosmetic issue to a major emergency, depending on the severity of the injury. It’s also usually preventable, if you can avoid these common causes.
Playing Sports without a Mouthguard
Any kind of zestful exercise can put your teeth at risk. Whenever a bunch of people are running around together, there is a risk of collisions and tripping, which can lead to falls that will chip your teeth. This includes everything from a professional soccer match to a pickup game of basketball. Remember, even sports that are supposedly noncontact come with a surprising amount of contact. Whenever you are playing sports, you need to protect your teeth.
Getting Your Tongue or Cheek Pierced
Oral jewelry can chip or crack teeth. It’s a foreign object, usually made of metal, moving around in your mouth, and it’s likely to cause damage to your tooth enamel. Oral piercings can also lead to receding gums.
Chewing on Non-Food
Chewing on hard, non-food objects can do serious damage to your teeth. This includes things you might think are food, such as ice and popcorn kernels, which have the potential to cause serious damage to your teeth. Don’t put nonfood objects in your mouth!
Using Your Teeth as Tools
Your teeth are designed for a few specific jobs: eating, talking, and smiling. They’re not designed as scissors, bottle openers, or pliers. Using your teeth as tools can cause serious damage to not just your teeth, but also your jaw. How serious is this? Neanderthals used their teeth as tools, and now they’re extinct!
Having a Bad Bite
If you have an imbalanced bite, some of your teeth are subjected to much greater force than your other teeth. Sometimes, you might know there’s a problem because you can see how your crooked teeth bite down unevenly. Other times, you might think you have a good bite, but there’s actually a problem, and you may not notice it until it’s too late. Fortunately, your dentist should be able to see the signs.
Getting Large Cavities
If you develop a large cavity, it weakens your teeth. If you don’t notice the decay or get it fixed, it can put your tooth at risk of cracking open.
Fixing Cavities with Metal Amalgam
Sometimes even fixing a cavity can put your tooth at risk, if you use the wrong kind of material Metal amalgam may be serviceable in many circumstances, but it can also put your teeth at risk. Metal amalgam weakens the tooth, both when it’s placed and over time, which means you may suffer a broken tooth as a result.