5 Reasons Your Tooth Cracked or Chipped

Cracking or chipping your teeth has to be one of the scariest and most uncomfortable things that can happen (especially to your ego). The fact is, teeth aren’t supposed to break, so when they do It should raise the alarm. As a dentist in Midtown Manhattan, I’ve seen my fair share of cracked and chipped teeth and I have a lot of sympathy for patients who experience this. Here are 5 common reasons why teeth end up cracking or chipping.


Cavities can be big and obvious but sometimes they are more subtle and occur under existing fillings. As you may know, a cavity is literally a hole in your tooth that’s filled with soft rotting tooth structure. When the hole grows too big, force on the tooth can cause it to break and cave in. This can leave you with half a tooth or a mild chip. It just depends on the location and size of the cavity.


Oversized Fillings

Teeth are super strong. They are actually stronger than a filling. When you bite down and chew, the crushing forces your teeth experience are perfectly fine for teeth, but an overly large filling may fail. When it fails, the filling can fall out, and depending on the amount of tooth structure left, that could break off as well. As a dentist, I’m always weighing the pros and cons of doing a filling vs a crown. If a filling covers more than 2/3 of the tooth, I recommend a crown because it is a stronger material that can better withstand the force necessary to chew and bite.


Bad Bite

If your teeth are crowded or in the wrong position, there is a chance this was the cause of your broken or chipped tooth.

Over time, your teeth have evolved into specific shapes and are meant to come into contact with each other in specific places when you chew. If your teeth are not contacting where they should then the force of chewing is not being properly distributed along the length of the tooth and causes the tooth to stress.

Straightening your teeth with Invisalign can prevent an accidental tooth break. Visit us at our New York City office and let’s straighten your teeth in 3-4 months.


Chewing Ice and Other Hard Objects

If you have a bad habit like chewing ice or biting bones to get to the marrow, it’s only a matter of time before you break a tooth. Our teeth are not designed to chew and bite on extremely hard objects. Continually chewing and biting hard objects like ice causes stress fractures in your teeth. You may not even notice it. If you do notice it, you might not even think twice about it but I assure you, if you continue, the tooth will break.


Misusing Your Teeth

The last reason you may have broken a tooth is because you used your teeth for something other than chewing food. Teeth are not beer bottle openers. They are not vice grips. I see a good number of patience with cracked and chipped teeth who tell me they got that way by doing something stupid. Along these lines, teeth are also sensitive to trauma so if you fell or hit your tooth against something, there is a chance it broke due to the impact of the traumatic event.

Although all of these occurrences may seem scary and irreparable, thankfully in most instances teeth can be repaired. Dentistry has come such a long way over the years and most repairs can be accomplished in a day or a couple of visits.

My recommendation to you is don’t neglect broken teeth as not tending to them may lead to bigger problems such as even more teeth breaking, teeth shifting or the need to take a tooth out.