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Jagged Teeth: Causes and Treatment

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

Perhaps you've recently chipped your tooth and noticed that it's scratching the inside of your mouth. Or you've lived your whole adult life with uneven teeth that you'd now like to get fixed. Regardless of the reason for your jagged teeth, you should feel assured in discussing them with your dental professional! It's a common problem - sometimes from a natural cause or an accident or injury. Whether your tooth is naturally jagged or just recently chipped or broken, your dental professional has many potential ways to make it straight and even again. Regardless of the cause, you should feel confident there's an appropriate treatment option that works for you!

Natural Teeth Shape

Not all of us have a neat, even line of pearly whites. If you were born without one, you might be wondering, "Why are my teeth jagged?" Teeth can grow unevenly, and some of them, specifically our canines, can develop in a pointed and protruding manner. Anyone can have uneven teeth. In rare cases, extra cusps, which are the sharp parts of your teeth, may cause their jaggedness.

As noted by the Journal of Dental Research, Dental Clinics, Dental Prospects, these cusps are referred to as talon cusps because they resemble an eagle's talons. Your dental professional can remove talon cusps by grinding down or removing a section of enamel and sealing your tooth with a desensitizing agent. Crooked or pointed teeth can also sometimes benefit from orthodontic treatment. Your dental professional will be able to tell you if this applies to you.

Broken and Chipped Teeth

When you break or chip your tooth, this can leave it looking jagged. And if your tooth's nerve becomes exposed, you might feel pain. Accidents happen! And a fall, getting hit in the mouth, or biting something hard are common accidental causes of a broken or chipped tooth. Your teeth can also break when cavities or large, old fillings weaken them, making them more susceptible to injury. We recommend that to prevent nerve damage; you should see your dental professional right away if one of your teeth breaks or chips.

Jagged Teeth Treatments

How to fix jagged teeth will depend on your dental professional's suggestion. But the good news is, there are a variety of options! The most straightforward treatment for a jagged line of teeth involves shaping the existing tooth enamel for a more even appearance. Contouring, smoothing an irregularly shaped tooth is a procedure that involves gently grinding away a small part of your tooth enamel. Did you know it's a conservative cosmetic dentistry treatment and usually doesn't even require anesthesia? While contouring is a great solution, you should never attempt it at home. Shaving your own teeth can cause permanent damage and severe pain.

If you have a chipped tooth, your dental professional might suggest bonding. This procedure involves a small amount of dental resin added to your tooth to replace the missing part. The resin will match your original tooth in color, so it's not noticeable. It's one of the easiest and least expensive cosmetic dental procedures but isn't as strong as your natural tooth. So continuing a strong oral care routine will be essential for its long-term success.

Your third option is a veneer. These thin shells that fit over your entire tooth above the gumline come in two kinds: traditional and minimally invasive. Fitting porcelain veneers involves removing some tooth enamel, and it's an irreversible procedure. Veneers made of composite material are now available. Your tooth will not need shaving because the composite placed over your tooth is so thin. There are pros and cons to each of these options, so having a conversation with your dental professional about them is key.

Sometimes the damage to your tooth is occasionally so severe, a repair to its jaggedness isn't possible. The best treatment for this situation is to extract your tooth and replace it with a dental implant, partial denture, or bridge. In most cases, the recovery time for all of these treatments is minimal. If your tooth needs extraction, you may require more than one visit to your dental professional. Replacing your tooth with a natural-looking prosthetic can take several months but will be well worth it for a healthy smile!

While you may experience some initial shock when you break or crack a tooth, or you've always felt discouraged from showing your smile in-full because of jagged canines, you've got plenty of treatment options! Jagged teeth don't have to be embarrassing or painful. Your dental professional can even them out or replace a missing part. If you decide to keep your teeth the way they are, your dental professional is still a valuable resource! They can instruct you on proper care and brushing so your issue doesn't worsen or cause pain. Regardless of what you decide, visiting your dental professional is your first and most important step to a confident smile!

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

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