Posted on: 6 March 2015
Getting a chipped, broken or missing tooth is surprisingly common, and can be influenced by everything from physical activity and your diet to unconscious habits. Your dentist is capable of fixing any tooth-related breakage using a variety of materials depending on what you need. To help reduce the risk of breaking teeth, it's worth looking at your current habits to see if you can make any changes or improvements.
Types Of Damage
There are three main types of broken teeth: crown fractures, root fractures and displaced or loosened teeth. Crown fractures refer to chips, cracks and fractures above the gumline. Root fractures are anything below the gumline, and displaced or loosened teeth are pretty self-explanatory.
Oral Hygiene Affects Tooth Strength
You probably know that you should be careful about your sugar intake because of how it can cause decay and cavities, but it also makes your teeth more susceptible to breaking because of the way it weakens your enamel. When your enamel is weakened, it takes less pressure to cause a tooth to crack or break.
Of course, hygiene doesn't just have to do with food -- it has to do with everything you stick in your mouth. Gnawing on inedible objects can also weaken your enamel, so if you have a habit of chewing on writing utensils, for example, try to cut down on that.
Mouth Guards Protect You Night And Day
If you're into sports, your teeth are at risk of greater damage if there's any chance you could get a facial injury. This is especially true in more contact-heavy sports like hockey. To protect yourself, wear a mouth guard to help absorb the force of contact and keep your teeth from breaking or falling out.
Mouth guards are helpful for those with tooth grinding issues as well. If you grind your teeth during the night, a mouth guard can help prevent some of the contact between your teeth.
Fillings And Crowns Are More Sensitive
If you've had previous dental work done, such as fillings, crowns and root canals, be careful when eating sticky or hard foods. Teeth that have had work done on them are more fragile than your other teeth, and are more prone to breaking under pressure or as the result of a forceful contact. If any of these teeth break, you may need your fillings or crowns replaced, but more work may be necessary.
What Your Dentist Can Do
Minor tooth chipping and breaking isn't usually a dental emergency, so the most you need to do is save the broken part of your tooth and make an appointment with your dentist. Your dentist can sometimes reattach the missing part of the tooth. If not, he can still make a new mold in the shape of your old tooth by using a bonding, which attaches a composite resin to your tooth. For more serious cases, you may get a dental cap or crown.
Taking Care Of A Broken Tooth
After your broken tooth is fixed by a dentist, you can usually carry on eating and drinking as you did before; not too much special care is required. The only thing you really need to do is be cautious; don't chew on inedible objects, try to avoid grinding your teeth, and don't try to chew on foods that are too hard or sticky. This, combined with proper brushing and flossing, will help keep your teeth strong and your repaired teeth lasting longer.
For more information about broken tooth repair and prevention, contact a local dentist.Share