Do you notice any of the following issues with your smile:

  • Teeth with rough or sharp edges
  • Small chips missing from a tooth
  • Vertical “lines” appearing on your teeth
  • Morning headaches or jaw pain

These may all be signs of tooth grinding, chipped teeth, or cracked teeth. But the question remains, “How much should you worry about chipped and cracked teeth?

Chips and cracks aren’t just a cosmetic concern. They might also be the first sign that there’s a bigger problem yet to come. Even small chips and cracks can weaken an otherwise healthy smile. Down the road, this might result in a bigger chip or a complete tooth fracture. In the worst-case scenario, you might need to have the tooth extracted.

Fortunately, the modern and high-tech treatments at Timberhill Dental in Corvallis can provide protection and peace of mind, as well as restore the cosmetic beauty of your smile!

What causes teeth to chip or crack?

OR Corvallis teeth grinding dentist timberhill dental

Teeth are very strong, but they’re not impervious to damage. Chipped and cracked teeth may be caused by:

  • Cavities weakening the structure of the tooth
  • Genetic factors or side effects of some medications
  • Chewing or biting on ice or other bits of non-organic material
  • The natural aging process
  • Undue stress on teeth from a misaligned bite

Are small chips and cracks always a big problem?

It’s really difficult to say “always” when it comes to anything about your health. In some cases, a small chip or crack may be the first sign of a bigger problem. In other cases, it may just be an annoyance that irritates your tongue but doesn’t pose a structural problem for your tooth.

If you see signs of chipped or cracked teeth, call our office today at (541) 754-0144. Our team can take a look, let you know what’s going, and work with you to figure out what to do next.

Are bonding treatments the best way to repair cracked/chipped teeth?

When skillfully applied and sculpted, cosmetic bonding provides a natural and beautiful improvement to your smile.

Cosmetic bonding treatments are fast, easy, and non-invasive. With a tooth-colored composite resin, small cracks and chips are “filled in”, without removing any of your natural tooth structure. The material “bonds” directly to the tooth, adding strength and protection against future chips and cracks.

The bonding material is colored to match the shade of your natural teeth. This makes cosmetic bonding a functional and beautiful way to protect chipped and cracked teeth.

Are porcelain veneers the right choice for you?

Porcelain veneers (sometimes called laminates) are a flexible and customizable cosmetic treatment that can be used to address a variety of issues including:

  • Cracked teeth
  • Chipped teeth
  • Teeth with rough/jagged edges 
  • Stained and discolored teeth
  • Small gaps between teeth
  • Worn teeth
  • Slightly misaligned teeth

Think of veneers as custom-crafted protective and beautiful “covers” for your teeth. Using 3D CEREC technology, Dr. Black and the team at Timberhill Dental can create a custom set of veneers that look natural, fit perfectly, and are very durable.

Can a chipped or cracked tooth cause a cavity?

Unfortunately, yes. When the hard exterior enamel layer of the tooth is cracked or chipped, it provides harmful bacteria direct access to the sensitive inner layers of the tooth. This can happen to an otherwise healthy tooth after biting down wrong on a hard bit of food or just by biting down too hard.

When infection and bacteria invade the inner chambers of the tooth, the result can be a very painful toothache. A root canal and same-day CEREC crown can eliminate infection, relieve pain, and restore the shape and function of your tooth. Because bacteria multiply quickly, it’s important to see a dentist and get even a small chip or crack checked out.

Can TMJ pain and bruxism be a sign of chipped/cracked teeth?

Sore jaws, dry mouth, chronic headaches, and sensitive teeth are all too common. Many people don’t realize that the root cause of these issues can be tooth grinding (otherwise known as bruxism) or TMJ disorder.

Both of these issues are the result of jaw clenching, often at night while you’re asleep. Because of this, many people don’t realize there’s an issue at all. That’s why it’s so important to see a dentist regularly for exams and checkups. During your exam at Timberhill Dental, we’ll evaluate the current health of your teeth and also see what has changed since your last visit. 

This exam can provide insight into the cause of chips and cracks, because these issues often develop slowly over time and can be easy to miss. If we do see signs of tooth grinding or TMJ, we can create a custom mouthguard to relieve the pressure on your jaw.

Schedule a visit to Timberhill Dental in Corvallis

Do you see signs of chipped or cracked teeth? Schedule your appointment at Timberhill Dental today by calling (541) 754-0144 or by contacting our office online.