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A chipped or cracked tooth results from stress or trauma to the teeth. Fractured teeth can not only alter the appearance of your smile, but could cause sensitivity, pain, or infection. Here are some ways to prevent damage to teeth and the treatment options if they do fracture.

Preventing Cracked Teeth

Chipped and cracked teeth often result from injury, which can’t usually be planned for. However, there are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of fractures such as:

  • Wearing A Mouthguard: This appliance protects teeth and oral tissue from injury during sports and recreational activities.
  • Remove Oral Piercings: You may accidently bite down on these and they also constantly click against your teeth.
  • Avoid Chewing On Hard Objects: Ice, fingernails, pencils, popcorn kernels, and eyeglasses can shift and crack your teeth if chewed on.
  • Treat Teeth Grinding: Clenching and grinding your teeth while you sleep (bruxism) can fracture and loosen teeth if done chronically.

Treating Cracked Teeth

Even if you take steps to prevent damage, the unexpected may occur and you will chip and crack your teeth. If this occurs, then gently rinse your mouth with warm water, apply a cold compress to your face to reduce any swelling, and see your dentist as soon as possible to avoid developing an infection. Your dentist will treat a fractured tooth with:

  • Dental Bonding: A resin used to repair minor chips.
  • Dental Crowns: A tooth cover that caps broken teeth.
  • Dental Veneers: A shell which covers the front surface of a tooth.

Even after treatment, your tooth will be more vulnerable to damage and infection than it was before. This means that it is important to keep good oral hygiene practices, see your dentist twice a year, and follow the prevention methods suggested above.