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Cracked and chipped teeth

Teeth can become cracked or chipped for a number of reasons; sports injuries, accidents, teeth grinding or even biting into hard foods can cause teeth to crack or break. There are many ways to repair cracks or chips; your dentist will explain your options for restoring the function and appearance of your teeth.

If you have a cracked or chipped tooth, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible to avoid further damage.

Find a Bupa dentist near you and get in touch for more information.


How can I tell if I have a cracked tooth?

Some injuries are immediately obvious, whilst some cracks may be barely visible. If you have a crack in your tooth, you'll most likely experience discomfort when eating, as well as sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.

A tooth can crack in a number of ways, whether it’s in one straight crack, multiple smaller cracks across the surface of your tooth, or a crack that completely divides your tooth in two.

What should you do if you have a cracked or chipped tooth?

If you think you have a cracked or chipped tooth you should see a dentist as soon as possible, even if you think the damage is minimal. Your dentist will assess the severity of the damage and explain your options for treatment. The problem could worsen if left untreated and could result in damage to the tooth’s nerve, or even the loss of the tooth.

If you’ve suffered a dental injury, it’s important to get help straight away. See our dental emergencies page for further information.

In the meantime, rinse your mouth with warm water and hold an ice pack, wrapped in a clean towel, to the affected area. If part of your tooth has broken off, keep it either in your mouth or in a pot of milk until you get to your dentist, as they may be able to reattach it.

Find a Bupa Dental Care dentist near you.


Treatment for cracked and chipped teeth

If left untreated, cracks and chips can lead to further problems. Depending on the severity of the damage to your teeth, your dentist may recommend one or more of the following treatments:

  • Fillings - Fillings can be used to fill the gaps caused by a crack. Your dentist can also smooth the edge of a chipped tooth with a tooth-coloured filling.
  • Crowns - A crown may be placed over the top of a chipped or cracked tooth.
  • Veneers - Veneers can also be used to cover a cracked or chipped tooth, depending on how much of the tooth is still intact.
  • Composite bonding - Composite bonding is a non-invasive way to restore teeth. Unlike crowns or veneers, composite bonding doesn’t require any of the healthy parts of the tooth to be removed during treatment.
  • Root-canal treatment - If the blood vessels and pulp inside the tooth have become damaged, you may need root canal treatment.

If you have a cracked or chipped tooth, or a small gap you’re unhappy with, speak to your dentist about the different options available to restore the appearance of your teeth, and protect them for the future.

Find a Bupa Dental Care dentist near you and get in touch for more information.


How to prevent cracked teeth

If you play sports where your teeth could be at risk, consider investing in a custom mouth guard. Wearing a mouth guard at night can also offer protection from grinding your teeth.

Find your nearest Bupa Dental Care practice and get in touch

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Bupa Dental Care is a trading name of Oasis Healthcare Limited. Registered in England and Wales number: 03257078. Registered office: Bupa Dental Care Vantage Office Park, Old Gloucester Road, Hambrook, Bristol, United Kingdom BS16 1GW.

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