A damaged tooth can range from a minor cosmetic chip that can be treated with porcelain veneers or dental bonding to a major cracked tooth that may require a dental crown or even a root canal. Sometimes, there’s nothing you can do about a damaged tooth. Other times, there are ways to prevent tooth damage. Here’re some very preventable causes of tooth damage.

Playing Sports without a Mouthguard

Exercise is great. Get out there and throw the pigskin or shoot some hoops with your buddies. But remember that any time there are a bunch of guys running around together there’s a possibility that someone is going to get hit in the mouth or fall down and hit their teeth or chin with enough force to crack their teeth. Even casual, supposedly noncontact sports can lead to tooth injury. And if you’re playing in any kind of league on a regular basis, make sure you’re wearing a mouthguard.

Getting Your Tongue or Cheek Pierced

Oral jewelry is stylish, but it can be very damaging to your teeth. It’s a hard object, often metal, in your mouth. When it hits against your teeth during talking or chewing, it can result in chipped teeth.

Chewing on Non-Food

Chewing on your nails isn’t just a bad habit, it’s bad for your teeth. The force required to bite through your nails or to bite down on other commonly-chewed objects like pens and pencils, can cause your teeth to chip or crack.

Using Your Teeth as Tools

Your teeth are specialized tools designed for a limited number of functions: talking, eating, and smiling. They’re not scissors, pliers, bottle openers, nutcrackers, icebreakers, or any other of the myriad tasks you may use them for. Using them this way can damage them badly. Next time you think of using your teeth as tools, remember: Neanderthals used their teeth as tools, and now they’re extinct!

Having a Bad Bite

Bad Bite by David Shankbone on WikimediaIn a normal bite, your teeth all receive bite forces evenly. If you have a bad bite, some teeth are subjected to much more force than the others. This can lead to chipping or cracking of the teeth. You might notice wear or small fractures in the teeth before they fail, but you might not. Left unchecked, this type of bite can not only damage your teeth, it can damage your jaw joint, causing TMJ.

Getting Large Cavities

If you aren’t taking good enough care of your teeth or if you aren’t visiting the dentist regularly to get your teeth checked out, you may be putting your teeth at risk of destruction. Not only does a cavity allow bacteria to penetrate your tooth, potentially leading to an infected tooth that requires a root canal, it makes your tooth weak, and more likely to crack.

Getting Cavities Fixed with Metal Amalgam

Metal amalgam fillings used to be the way we fixed cavities, but now we know that they can be almost as bad. The metal amalgam doesn’t bond to the tooth, so it’s not restoring as much strength as we would like. The metal also expands more quickly than the tooth, which can cause your enamel to crack more, making it more likely to break.

If You’ve Chipped or Broken a Tooth

If you suffer damage to a tooth, we can repair it using the highest quality materials that are both attractive and durable. For a consultation with a Philadelphia cosmetic dentist, please call Dental Excellence of Blue Bell at (610) 272-0828.