7 Common Ways to Break a Tooth
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7 Common Ways to Break a Tooth

Although tooth enamel is the strongest substance in your body, it is still prone to breaks and cracks.

Chipping or breaking your tooth enamel exposes the nerves that feed it, bringing about agonizing pain.

This is why the professionals at Rio Rancho Dental Practice in NM recommend seeking the advice of a dentist to help determine the severity of the break or crack. For more information, visit them here: https://rioranchosmiles.com/blog/what-should-i-do-if-i-break-a-tooth/

This article discusses seven common ways to break or chip a tooth and what you can do to protect the teeth in these situations.

But before then, let’s discuss some of the well-known ways a tooth can break.

Minor Cracks

Minor cracks are just that, i.e., they are minor. In most cases, they are not serious and do not require treatment.

However, you should still see a dentist despite their mildness since those rough edges can cause accidental injury to your tongue or the soft tissue inside your mouth.


Chips are also like minor cracks. They don’t threaten your tooth health or require treatment. But a professional should look at it and might suggest you undergo aesthetic treatment.

Cracked Tooth

When a tooth is cracked, the fracture is visible, passing across or down the tooth. In most cases, it requires a crown.

Split Tooth

A tooth can split in half, often the result of a fall or accidental bump. This is because human teeth have several roots.

A split is not necessarily the end of the tooth’s life or function. Nevertheless, instead of extracting the tooth, it can be retained via the use of a crown.

 Broken Cusp

In most cases, a broken cusp doesn’t affect the root or pulp of the tooth, only the cusp itself, i.e., the top of the grinding surface of a tooth. Protecting that tooth will require a crown or onlay.

Serious Breaks

When a tooth suffers a severe break, it exposes the nerve, and the pain is unbearable. You will require a crown and root canal to fix it.

Decay-Induced Break

This usually occurs when a tooth has been steadily decaying for some time, forming a cavity. This cavity weakens the enamel, causing the tooth to crumble.

The best way to fix this to prevent further decay is by removing the decayed tooth completely.

Split Root or Vertical Breaks

When an event like this occurs to your tooth, it can bring about excruciating pain. Irritation may also occur since the area around the tooth’s root may become infected if not treated on time.

The best way to solve this problem to prevent additional damage is by removing the affected tooth completely.

Now that you know the different ways a tooth can break, read the next section to find out the common ways to break or chip a tooth. You will also discover what you can do when faced with such situations.

1. Decayed Teeth

Most people don’t know they have decayed teeth until it is too late. In most cases, these individuals hardly go for dental checkups.

If you have untreated decayed teeth, there is an excellent chance that they will crack because of their reduced strength.

Therefore, it is recommended that you go for dental checkups once or twice a year. This will look for any anomaly in your teeth, and any decaying action discovered will be halted speedily in its tracks.

2. Bottles

Taking a drink from glasses or bottles is a daily occurrence for many people today. However, you may bring up the glass bottle to your mouth a little too fast when taking a drink. This knocks your teeth against the bottle, causing them to crack.

The front teeth are usually affected in this scenario. If left untreated, the small chips end up becoming significant issues that may require dental surgery.

Therefore, consider using plastic cups when drinking a beer or be very careful if you have to take a gulp directly from the bottle.

3. Eating Unpopped Popcorn

Eating popcorn is not the problem, at least not the fluffy, soft kernels of the buttered snack. The problem is the unpopped kernels and their action on your teeth.

You will always find unpopped kernels every time you buy popcorn. In most cases, you hardly see them as you munch away on the bigger fluffy pieces. But you will always know when you bite down very hard on an unpopped kernel.

Eating unpopped kernels can easily bruise your teeth or even cause cracks that can become painful over time. Unpopped kernels have been known to break a filling apart or fracture part of the tooth.

When this happens, you risk exposure to the nerve that feeds the tooth. If this nerve suffers a trauma, you may need to undergo a root canal procedure.

But you can avoid this by, first of all, giving your bowl of popcorn a good enough shake, so the unpopped kernels end up settling on the bottom of the popcorn bowl.

The second thing you can do is grab only a few pieces of popcorn at a time. This makes it easier to spot unpopped kernels so that you can set them aside as you enjoy the soft, fluffy popcorns and your favorite movie.

4. Hard Candy

Hard candies such as cough drops and lollipops can cause a great deal of pain if you chew them prematurely before they dissolve completely in your mouth.

The Hard candies are made in such a way that they naturally stay in the mouth for extended periods. Since they dissolve slowly in your mouth, you can savor the natural flavor of the hard candy.

Even though they are not meant to be chewed, many people bite down hard on them several times before they are completely dissolved.

This may seem pleasurable at first, but you’re setting up your tooth and jaw for serious problems.

Therefore, if you can avoid eating hard candies, your teeth will thank you for it. But if you love them, allow them to dissolve slowly and naturally in your mouth.

5. Crushing Ice Before It Melts

Ice is meant for chilling beverages, but many people love chewing on it. Slushies shaved ice, snow cones, and a dozen other concoctions are made with crushed ice.

You can enjoy these without harming your teeth. But they could cause your teeth to become more sensitive to cold.

On the other hand, ice cubes can wreak havoc on your teeth. For instance, if you chew ice cubes without allowing them to melt or dissolve, your teeth may develop microscopical hairline cracks.

Over time, the hairline cracks may increase, causing the affected teeth to become highly sensitive to cold and hot temperatures. In most cases, patients don’t even know the damage to their teeth until it is too late.

Therefore, stop crunching on ice before it dissolves in your favorite beverages. This habit usually signifies iron deficiency.

6. Public Water Fountains

Public water fountains can be tempting, especially on a hot day. But many people who come to take a drink to miscalculate the location of the fountain.

This causes them to knock their teeth against the steel or metal fountain, which causes dental chips.

Therefore, be careful when drinking from a public water fountain to reduce the chance of knocking your teeth against it.

7. Bones

Many people love chicken legs, chicken wings, and ribs, as well as other types of bone-in meat that enhance the excitement of family dinners, picnics, and even backyard barbecues.

However, some people take careless bites into bones during these events without being mindful of the harm this action has on their teeth.

You should also be mindful of cold salads that contain grilled meat. This is because small pieces of bone can be left accidentally in the meat or salad and can easily crack your tooth when you consume them.

Fishbones also lodge easily between the teeth and sometimes act like slivers in your gum tissue.

This irritates the area, makes it sore and tender unless the fishbone is removed by hand or surgery. Therefore, be careful when consuming fish soup or eating meat-on-the-bone dinners.


These are just seven of the common ways you can break or chip a tooth. We hope this list has made you aware of minor accidents or simple everyday things that can chip or break your tooth.

If you found this list helpful, consider sharing it with your friends, family members, and even colleagues.

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