Chipped teeth can happen to anyone at any age, but some may be more susceptible to damage than others. Factors like genetics, lifestyle, age and even profession can affect the vulnerability of your teeth. Whether you have already experienced a chipped tooth in your lifetime, or if you are looking to protect your teeth from future cracks, it is helpful to find out if you are more prone to chipped teeth and if so, how you can prevent them from happening.
Many dental patients may think that a cracked tooth and chipped tooth are the same thing. These two terms share many similarities, but a chip is characterized by a tooth structure that is no longer connected to the rest of the healthy tooth. A cracked tooth, inversely, is a tooth that may have fractures in it, but it is still in one cohesive piece. Both of these instances can either cause pain to the sufferer or not, depending on how deep the damage reaches into the tooth.
Causes for a chipped tooth
Countless adults and youngsters suffer from chipped teeth every year, but some are more likely to experience tooth damage than others. Read on to determine if your teeth are at risk of having one or more of the following factors at play.
It is no secret that as we age, our bodies start to decline in function. Unfortunately, our teeth are no exception. Over time, the enamel (the outermost, and hardest layer of teeth) becomes porous. Even with a record of perfect dental hygiene, enamel loss can still occur. The body is less able to process the minerals it needs to replenish the enamel. Calcium and fluoride are vital to the health of teeth, so keep up with a diet and hygiene regimen that supports strong teeth, especially after 40 years of age.
Osteoporosis, for example can have an effect on the strength of teeth as it begins to attack the jawbone. If you have a condition that affects bone growth, mineral absorption or anything of the sort, your teeth may be weakened and more susceptible to breakage.
If your parents have had chipped teeth or other dental issues in their life, you most likely will too. From the shape of teeth (deeper crevices tend to promote tooth decay) to the thickness of enamel, you can thank mom and dad for most of your teeth issues.
Those who play contact sports like hockey, football or rugby are more likely to experience a sports injury that could lead to chipped teeth. It is always important to wear a mouthguard when doing any physical activity that may jeopardize the teeth.
This tricky condition involves the unconscious grinding or clenching of teeth. After a long period of time, this grinding can wear on teeth and cause tiny fractures to form. These fractures weaken the teeth, allowing for chips to occur. As this condition mostly affects adults during sleep, try wearing a mouthguard to bed to prevent tooth-on-tooth contact.
Straight teeth are not just pretty, they are vital to the health of the mouth as well. A bad bite can cause certain areas of the teeth to wear quicker. Cracks and chips can form as a result of misalignment.
Poor oral health
Cavities are one of the main culprits for a chipped tooth. Tooth decay can occur on any tooth in the mouth (except for prosthetic teeth). When it goes unnoticed, this decay can cause big breaks in teeth. Prevent chipped teeth by visiting the dentist for a cleaning and checkup at least every 6 months. Brush and floss daily to rid the mouth of decay-causing bacteria and plaque to protect teeth.
Prevent chipped teeth
Whether you are more prone to chipped teeth or not, be sure to visit your dentist frequently for dental cleanings and X-rays. This will prevent little fractures from turning into a big, costly problem.
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