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John P. Goodman DDS

What Causes Chipped Teeth?

By Dr. John Goodman on October 22, 2014

A young man with a tan and bright white teeth looks upward against a bright aqua background Nobody wants a chipped tooth. In an instant, a crack or chip in a highly visible tooth can significantly affect the aesthetics of your smile. What’s more, cracks and chips can bring dental nerves closer to the surface of your teeth, causing increased sensitivity and even pain. But while nobody wants a chipped tooth, chipped teeth occur quite frequently. Kansas City cosmetic dentist John P. Goodman has seen and treated many cases of chipped teeth throughout his career - and they do not always stem from a sudden traumatic injury. In fact, there are several issues that can cause chipped teeth beyond an injury alone. But all of these issues can be solved with high quality restorative dentistry treatments.

Cracked or chipped teeth can be caused by certain dental problems and bad habits. Some of the causes of chipped teeth include:

  • Chewing on inappropriate hard objects like pen caps or ice
  • Using your teeth as a tool - for example, to open bags or bottles
  • Eroded tooth enamel
  • Tooth decay
  • Certain medications
  • Chronic teeth grinding

Teeth grinding, also known by its technical term as “bruxism,” is an especially common cause of chipped teeth. Teeth grinding is also a serious problem because many patients are not even aware that they grind their teeth at night, unless a partner or family member notices or informs them. If they are never informed and encouraged to seek out treatment, they may never notice themselves until signs and symptoms begin to show - including stressed and weakened teeth that develop cracks and chips. By that time, it can be too late for preventative care and restorative treatment becomes a necessity.

What Are the Best Treatments for Chipped Teeth?

There are several treatment options available for teeth that have been damaged by chips and cracks. Some of the more common options include:

  • Dental Bonding - This is a treatment in which a composite resin, similar to the resin used in a tooth-colored filling, is painted directly onto the area where the enamel has weakened and cracked. This is an efficient and economical way to treat a tooth with minor damage.
  • Porcelain Veneers - If you have developed cracks or chips in one or more teeth, you may consider porcelain veneers as a fast and aesthetically pleasing treatment option. Porcelain veneers are thin porcelain shells that are bonded into place, covering and hiding the aesthetic flaws of your existing teeth.
  • Dental Crowns - If one or more of your teeth have undergone significant damage, your dentist may recommend capping the affected tooth with a dental crown to protect what is left of the tooth and bolster it with support from all sides.
  • Bridges or Dental Implants - If your teeth have suffered prolonged and significant damage, it may be too late to save them. In this case, extraction and replacement is the best treatment option. After extraction, you have several options for replacing your original teeth, including a removable or permanent dental bridge or dental implants, which can be topped off with a crown, bridge, or denture.

Learn More about the Causes and Treatment of Chipped Teeth

If you have been living with chipped, cracked, and broken teeth, know that effective and affordable treatment is within reach. To schedule an appointment and learn more about your options, please contact the dental practice of John P. Goodman, DDS, today.

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