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A cracked or chipped tooth is no fun; in fact, it could lead to far more extensive and costly damage, in some instances. There are some habits and behaviors that cause damage to teeth, and you may not even realize you are putting your smile at risk!  

Consider carefully these common causes of cracked or chipped teeth: 

Tooth Trauma 

You can chip or crack a tooth- or several teeth- when you are in an accident or if you sustain trauma to your teeth, mouth, or face. Car accidents or slip-and-fall accidents could wreak serious havoc on your teeth- and these may be unpreventable. You should always visit a dentist for assessment if you have recently been in an accident or endured tooth trauma.   

Facial Piercings 

You are putting yourself at an increased risk of a cracked or chipped tooth if you wear oral jewelry, like a tongue or lip ring. It is not practical to think that foreign objects made of metal- like a tongue ring- won’t damage teeth over time. Plus, the chance of an infection is high. Re-think facial piercings to protect your teeth, and at the very least, wear silicone rings and jewelry to lower the likelihood of a problem.  

Sporting Activities 

If you are going to play sports or exercise, wear a mouthguard. It doesn’t have to involve contact sports to risk injury to your mouth; a simple trip and fall could cause a lot of damage. Protect yourself from a nasty dental accident with your mouthguard. This applies to both kids and adults! 

Inedible Items 

If you chew on things that are inedible, like writing instruments, ice, or hard seeds, you could crack or chip a tooth. If you use your teeth as tools to open bottles, loosen lids, or remove wrappers, you could do serious harm. You are risking doing damage to your teeth, but also to your jaw- which may be a very painful and costly experience.  

Grinding Teeth  

People that grind their teeth when they sleep are likely to chip or crack their teeth at some point. This goes for those that clench their teeth frequently- such as a reaction to stress- and cracks are common. The best thing that you can do is to have a dental exam to rule out any bite issues that could be the cause. If your bite is fine, you may need to work on coping strategies to deal with stress and anxiety in less problematic ways.  

Weak Enamel 

Acidic foods and drinks are hard on teeth and over time, can wear down and erode your dental enamel. When this enamel becomes worn or damaged, your teeth are more at-risk for chipping, breaking, and cracking. Watch what you eat and discuss ways to fortify the enamel with your dental provider. If you experience tooth sensitivity to heat or cold, there is a good chance that your enamel has been compromised. 

Don’t risk damage to your teeth; see a dentist right away if your teeth are chipped or cracked. Call or visit Old Mt Pleasant Dentistry, in Mt Pleasant, SC, to schedule your appointment- and use these tips to prevent practices that could put your teeth at risk.