What to Know About Chipped Teeth

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What to Know About Chipped Teeth

Many Americans have experienced having a chipped or cracked tooth at some point in their lifetime. Tooth injuries can occur from vehicle accidents, domestic disputes, sports, or any other physical contact. However, there are other nonphysical factors that can cause the teeth to chip or crack. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and possible treatments can help you determine the best treatment possible, and the cosmetic dentists at McBride Dental can help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted.

Causes of Chipped Teeth


For individuals who know for certain that their teeth didn’t chip or crack because of physical contact, there’s a possibility that grinding or bruxism could be the cause. Bruxism wears down the teeth along the surface areas that are responsible for chewing. The enamel is weakened, which makes it easier to chip off.


Another cause is poor nutrition. There are specific foods that affect the strength of the teeth or contribute to weakening the teeth. Foods high in sugar, starch, and acid can weaken the enamel, making it more likely to chip.

Biting Issues

Other causes can be an imbalanced bite, which causes some of the teeth to take the worst part of the bite instead of having it equally distributed amongst the teeth.

The chips may also be caused by biting into hard candy or having a tongue or lip piercing scrape against the teeth.

Symptoms of a Chipped Tooth

What to Know About Chipped TeethThe most common symptom of a chipped tooth is extreme pain when eating or drinking. There will usually be an intense sensitivity to hot or cold food and drinks. Other symptoms include fever, bad breath, and swollen glands in the neck or jaw.

The reason why individuals experience pain while eating or being exposed to certain temperature levels is that the chipped or cracked tooth exposes the pulp, which holds all of the nerves and blood vessels. Once the pulp gets irritated, it could lead to an infection that spreads to the surrounding bone and gum area.

Treating Chipped Teeth

For individuals experiencing chipped teeth, one of our San Diego dentists will typically repair them by bonding a tooth-colored filling or crown. In some cases, we may even just reattach the broken piece of tooth enamel.

For individuals experiencing cracked teeth, there are different treatment options depending on the severity of the crack. Some cracks only require a tooth filling or crown. Others might require a root canal procedure.

Cracks that go beyond the gum line can no longer be treated. The tooth will be removed and can be replaced by a prosthetic tooth or implant.

For cracks that cause a split tooth, there may be a possibility that a portion of the tooth can be saved with endodontic treatment.

Cracks that start at the root could require the removal of the tooth or endodontic surgery to at least save a portion of the tooth.

San Diego Dentist

At McBride Dental, we offer cosmetic dentistry for individuals who have suffered a cracked or chipped tooth. Depending on each patient’s needs, we offer composite dental fillings, one-day dental veneers, and more. While some treatments are faster than others, our goal is always to enhance the beauty of your smile. Contact us 760-471-1003 to schedule an appointment.

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