There’s little worse than that panicked, “Uh oh,” feeling you get right after you’ve bitten down on something hard and felt the cracking or breaking of a tooth. And no wonder; a fractured tooth has health, psychological, and cosmetic implications.
While it’s pretty obvious that chewing on things like hard candy, ice and hitting a popcorn kernel between the teeth while you watch a movie can be a huge culprit, some less thought of contributors include participation in sports, teeth grinding (bruxism) from stress or uneven bite, cavities, and old metal amalgam fillings.
Here are some tips:
- Avoid the obvious pitfalls of chewing on hard candies, ice, popcorn kernels etc.
- If you participate in sports, consider purchasing a mouth guard to protect your teeth while you play.
- If you find yourself grinding your teeth from stress, especially at night, seek out some stress relief methods. If you aren’t sure what the cause of your teeth grinding is, be sure to make an appointment so that we can examine your bite and make adjustments if needed. The solution may be as simple as prescribing a custom mouth guard. (For more information, check out our blog post “Bruxing Your Teeth”).
- Maintain an oral health routine, which includes a check-up and maintenance visit with your dental hygienist every 6 months. They can also help identify and address small fractures that you may have never noticed on your own.
- If you have old amalgam fillings, consult your dentist about getting them replaced with a composite filling BEFORE you have a bigger issue. The old metal amalgam fillings contract and expand differently than your natural tooth and over time, can lead to devastating fractures. Depending on the size of the old filling, other options may need to be considered, including full or partial crowns to preserve the strength of the tooth, extractions, and/or implants.
A simple call to Dr. Kidess can take the panic out of your situation and have you smiling again before you know it (480) 991-2290.