We have seen many people with their front teeth chipped but they seem to act normal and go about their daily lives. It does not seem to bother them. While a few others would panic when they see a very tiny chip on their teeth. There is a drastic difference on how we Humans see ourselves in different light. Our mind is filled with many problems and we are constantly challenged to making decisions to overcome those problems. So for some this small chip may pose danger to his or her business presentation but to another he or she is unmindful because he or she is working in a sweatshop. Because there are no eyeballs to watch in that sweatshop. So it’s also perception of beauty and the perception and prioritization of their chip in their lives. Anterior teeth are more cared for than our back teeth, because all of us as Humans have been conditioned to look good for others first and ourselves second.
Enamel is the hardest and is able to stand the test of time. They last for ever. We had gone over the anatomy of the teeth in my previous blog. Looking into it, crack may happen at varying depths within the tooth depending on the direction, intensity and duration of force. It may also depend on the angle at which that force is thrown at on the tooth. A vertical bite force to the molars is normal for the molars, because they are designed to withstand vertical forces. The same force on the front teeth might break it. Our front teeth are positioned at an angle for the convenience of incising food. They are not meant for chewing. So each tooth in your mouth has a specific function to perform. It didn’t happen by chance. Evolution has made it happen. Teeth in animals have been modified for survival. Our closest cousins Gorilla and chimps have teeth similar to us. This is very surprising to see similarities between two species with similar genetic makeup.
Why do teeth chip, crack or even break? Teeth are primarily meant for chewing food which helps in their digestion, subsequent absorption and energy release. Without teeth we would not be here. Teeth also helps us with phonation, esthetics and facial support. It also gives us our unique identity and our facial features. Our society has taken teeth for granted. our assumption is if there is no pain, there is no problem with it. This mindset has put teeth in the back seat until something happens. But we are using and abusing our teeth round the clock. We open bottle caps with it, we hold a needle between teeth, crack nuts with it, crush hard candy with it and even break ice into pieces with it. We also clench and grind our teeth as a result of day to day stresses that affect our lives. Mind you we are standing or sitting during the day. This is while we are awake. Now while we are asleep, it’s a completely different animal at work and it is a nocturnal one. We are at this point laying flat on the ground. Our jaw position is different, muscles are at work too and this position has to deal with gravity as well. When we clench and grind at night during deep sleep, the direction of grinding forces vary This applies to clenching as well.
During clenching or grinding something has to give. It’s usually the teeth. The body wouldn’t sacrifice itself. So the entire burden falls on the laps of the teeth. This is where the structural integrity of the teeth get affected. A teeth may chip losing a cusp or two but it depends on at which level it had been initiated, it may be within enamel, dentin or into pulp. When pulp is involved it may involve getting a root canal therapy done. A minor crack on the surface may also propagate downward into deeper structures. It may or may not involve dentin or pulp.
Life throws it’s punches at us in many ways. Clenching and grinding does damage your teeth by taking the stresses off of your body and taking it upon itself. Thereby preventing any harm to your body. Nature does its wonder in may ways and this is one of them. Make sure to invest in your Oral Health. Throw in your towel for prevention. This is fast, easy and painless. It’s also cheaper for your wallet. I have used the word “invest” because it is your mouth and your health. It is an investment in YOUR Health. Investment is not all about money, such as investing in the stock market, retirement accounts etc. This is what we are conditioned to believe in. Maintaining your health is also an investment in itself. In fact it is THE most important one. We are supposedly investing in our retirement hopefully for a future unknown date. The key word is hope. Have you asked yourself this question: How many of us would make it to that age? Why is this age being extended further and further? YOUR Health today is all that we have got. Once health is lost all is lost. Oral and systemic health are intertwined and well connected.
When was the last time you visited your Dentist for preventive maintenance? Time to get to it now. Statistics have shown us that 90% of the population do not go to the Dentist. The same holds good for their annual physical as well. Small cracks in teeth will in due course extend downward into the tooth, and chipped tooth may propagate further thus complicating matters. Would you drive your car with wheels that are not aligned well? By the same token, our teeth cannot function well if misaligned.
So have your teeth checked at least every 3 months with your Dentist to ensure optimum Oral Health. Your breath may smell too good and your teeth will be ready to chop down on everything you throw at it.