It may seem like a harmless habit-chewing a pencil here, tearing something open there-but using your teeth for anything other than chewing food can lead to chips, cracks and even tooth loss.
Outside pressure can cause your teeth to chip, and when the force is great enough, they may break or split. When the split is really deep, sometimes the only solution is to remove the fractured tooth because there may not be enough structure to restore it.
Less serious but still worthy of a dentist’s attention, chips can be disguised with bonding, usually in a single-visit procedure. You may also find that using your teeth as tools has caused them to shift, in which case, braces or Invisalign can help them move back into place.
But for teeth that are severely worn, crowns, which are basically caps that are permanently cemented over your teeth, are the only option. If you have a crack that runs underneath the gums, your dentist may recommend an even more drastic option like a dental implant-an artificial titanium tooth that’s surgically anchored into the jaw.
Are you guilty of using your teeth as tools? Have you tried to quit the habit? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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