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The outer tooth enamel layer on your teeth is intended to be hard enough to bite and break down food into pieces that can be safely swallowed. As strong as your teeth are, there are still some things that can apply enough force to chip tooth enamel or cause a dental fracture.

Even if the chipped tooth doesn’t cause you any pain the aberrations in the damaged tooth enamel could start to accumulate plaque and other bacterial deposits. This could also increase your chances of suffering a more severe dental fracture in the future.

Our dentists, Dr. Novan Nguyen and Dr. Sally Chu, note that there are a few things you can do to reduce your chances of suffering from a chipped or fractured tooth.

This starts with making a conscious effort to break bad habits like biting your nails, nervously nibbling on pens, and pencils, or using your teeth to open packaging. You should also avoid chewing on medications or crunching on ice.

Patients who unconsciously grinding their teeth while sleeping is also at significantly increased risk of suffering a chipped or fractured tooth. While this is more likely to occur on the biting surfaces of the molars and premolars in the back of your mouth, chronic night grinding can damage any tooth in your mouth.

Sleeping with a quality guard in your mouth. If you don’t like the basic units sold in stores, Dr. Novan Nguyen or Dr. Sally Chu might be able to provide you with a custom dental guard.

If you live in the Stockton, California, area and you have recently chipped or fractured a tooth you should call 209-952-9290 to seek timely treatment at Smile 32.