While dental crowns typically last anywhere between five and 15 years, there are certain precautions that need to be taken to prevent these attachments from falling off. Crowns are often used to restore strength and functionality to a tooth that has been damaged due to decay, cracks or other causes. Depending on the material used…
Do Chipped Teeth Grow Back?
Unfortunately, chipped teeth do not grow back. Humans, as well as most other mammals, are diphyodont, which means we develop two sets of teeth in our lifetime. Our primary teeth, more commonly known as baby teeth, are a set of 20 temporary teeth that begin to develop while we are in the womb and begin to fall out around six years old. At that point, our baby teeth are replaced by a set of 32 permanent teeth. As you may have guessed from the term, our adult teeth are permanent and do not regrow.
What is tooth enamel?
Tooth enamel is the hardest and most highly mineralized tissue in your body. However, it is not a living tissue, which prohibits your teeth from being regenerated or regrown.
Once your tooth enamel is chipped or eroded, it is gone for good! Our bodies are amazing in that they can heal and repair many parts of us: Broken bones grow back together, cut skin heals and trimmed hair and nails grow long again. But no matter how well our bodies can repair itself, it cannot regrow tooth enamel.
Causes of a chipped tooth
A tooth can become chipped for any number of reasons. The most common include:
- Biting down on something hard
- Grinding your teeth when you sleep
- Trauma, such as a car accident or sports injury
- Untreated cavities causing your tooth to become brittle
A weakened tooth is more likely to chip than a strong one. There are several things that can reduce the strength of a tooth, such as tooth decay or cavities, acid reflux or heartburn, or eating and drinking very acidic food (fruit juice, coffee, spicy foods, etc.).
How to care for chipped teeth
The best (and easiest!) way to care for chipped teeth is to visit your dentist. However, there are several steps you can take to reduce further injury until you see your doctor:
- Place a small piece of wax or sugar-free gum over any jagged edges to protect the inside of your mouth
- Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater
- Take an anti-inflammatory painkiller, such as ibuprofen, if you notice any pain
- Eat very soft foods, and avoid biting down on or near the chipped tooth
- Brush (very gently!) with a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Floss to remove any food or debris that can cause more pressure on your chipped tooth
Can we answer any questions for you?
Making an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible is the best way to avoid infection or further damage to your chipped tooth. Treatment will depend on the severity of the damage, so plan on getting evaluated by your dentist as soon as you can.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: What Should I Do If I Chip My Tooth.
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