8 Ways You Can Chip Your Teeth — And 5 Ways To Fix The Damage

Sep 13, 2016

Updated: 7/8/2022

The enamel covering your teeth is very strong, but it can get damaged. If hit hard enough, a piece of your tooth can break off, leaving a jagged edge. A chipped tooth might not cause you much pain, but it is certainly unsightly. 

Here are some specific ways you can chip a tooth and how you can get it repaired.


How People Chip Teeth

Auto accidents 
Being in a car crash is a traumatic experience. Even with modern safety tools like airbags, you can still get injured in an auto accident. These injuries can include damage to your teeth if you hit them on the steering wheel or just jar your teeth together too strongly.

Bike accidents 
Bike helmets do not protect your smile, so an accident while riding your bike can do quite a number on your teeth. That’s especially true if you take a fall on the road or a similarly hard surface. 

Playing sports
Participating in sports or any physical activity without the proper safety equipment leaves you vulnerable to injury. If you are hit in the mouth with a baseball or fall face-first while running around a hard basketball court, your teeth can be damaged.

Chewing on ice cubes 
Believe it or not, chewing on ice can chip your teeth. Ice is very strong, and it takes a lot of pressure to crack it. When you chew ice, it’s easy to suddenly crack the ice and slam your teeth together too hard. The ice itself can damage your teeth as well.

Chewing hard food 
Some snacks may be delicious, but they are not great for your teeth. A few food items that can damage your teeth include:

  • Pretzels
  • Hard candy
  • Fruit with hard pits
  • Chicken with bones not removed 

Tooth decay 
Cavities are areas of your enamel corroded by harmful bacteria. These create weak spots in your teeth similar to how termites create those in wood. If you get hit on your teeth, you’re more likely to get chips where the enamel is weak due to tooth decay.

Using teeth to open or carry things
It’s tempting to use your mouth as an extra hand. People often carry things with their teeth or even tear open bags and boxes with them. Your teeth are not designed for this, so you can end up breaking a tooth.

Bruxism is the technical name for grinding your teeth unconsciously. This can put extra wear on your enamel, weakening it like tooth decay and creating a greater chance of you having a chipped tooth.

What to do if you’ve chipped a tooth
Should you save the broken piece of a chipped tooth? It can’t hurt if you can. Your dentist may not be able to use it when repairing your tooth, but it’s better to have it and not need it, than the other way around. 

Why you may experience pain if you’ve chipped a tooth 
At the center of your tooth is a soft tissue called pulp.   Within the pulp are nerves and blood vessels. If the break in your tooth reaches the pulp, the tooth may be sensitive to different temperatures.

    How To Repair A Chipped Tooth


    Dental veneers 
    These are thin but strong shells that are bonded with the front of your teeth. Once placed, they will cover over any chips with a life-like, healthy appearance. They also add a layer of protection to your tooth.

    Tooth bonding
    In this restorative dentistry treatment, dentists use a composite resin colored to look like healthy teeth. The dentists carefully apply the resin to your teeth and shape it to fill in the chipped area. After tooth bonding, your chipped tooth will look healthy and natural again.

    Tooth contouring 
    If the break is small and shallow, tooth contouring might help. Dentists will carefully remove some of the tooth’s enamel to smooth out the jagged part. This can make it look like nothing ever happened to your tooth.

    Dental crowns 
    Crowns are a restorative dentistry treatment that covers the visible part of your tooth. Dental crowns are made to look and feel just like healthy teeth. They’ll hide any breaks while keeping your teeth strong.

    Dental implants
    If you have many teeth damaged by cracks and chips, you may consider getting dental implants. The Hybridge procedure is an accelerated treatment that restores up to 12 teeth on your bottom or upper jaw (or both). Alternatively, you can wear dentures to display a full set of healthy teeth.

      You don’t have to live with a chipped tooth. Our dental team can help make your chipped teeth look great and be strong again. Contact either of our two Connecticut offices — Bridgeport/Trumbull Line at 203-372-1220 or Shelton at 203-378-9737 — our use our online tool to book an appointment.

      Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Consult a qualified dental professional to determine the best dental/orthodontic treatment for your needs.