You may already know that proper dental care, including daily brushing and flossing, is essential to keeping your teeth strong and healthy. So it’s understandably confusing and alarming to someone whose teeth seem to break or chip easily. What could be causing this?
Your teeth were designed to come together in a specific way to protect them while allowing you to bite and chew food. Even when your mouth is at rest, the teeth should comfortably sit together without pressure or damage. In general, your upper teeth should sit slightly over the lower teeth, and the grooves in your molars should fit together similar to a puzzle.
But if your teeth don’t line up properly, you could have a bad bite, also known as malocclusion. This can cause the teeth to hit each other too hard and in the wrong places, leading to broken or chipped teeth.
Malocclusion can be caused by several factors, so you’ll need to see your dentist to identify the problem. Injury or misalignment of the jaw, poorly fitting fillings or crowns, problems with dental appliances or braces, or abnormally shaped teeth are some of the possible culprits.
Chomping Hard Foods
Your teeth are designed to be strong enough to handle crunchy foods. If you take good care of them, they should withstand normal wear and tear without problems. But even the healthiest teeth can get cracked or broken when you’re chewing on hard foods or objects.
Ice cubes and popcorn kernels are top offenders for breaking teeth. Never chew ice, and be careful when eating popcorn: watch for unpopped pieces before you eat. In addition, don’t chew on pens or other objects, and never use your teeth as “tools,” for opening packages or similar jobs.
Grinding the teeth, or bruxism, is a common problem that many people don’t realize they’re doing – until they come to the dentist with a chipped or broken tooth. Grinding puts immense force on the teeth and will wear them down over time.
Your dentist may be able to see signs of grinding in your mouth and can fit you with a protective guard to wear at night if needed. This is another reason to go to your regular checkups!
Decay and Old Fillings
Cavities can weaken teeth over time, leading to cracks and breaks. And fillings don’t last forever; those that are more than a few years old should be checked by your dentist as they can cause teeth to weaken and break.
The good news is, all of these issues can be prevented and/or corrected in our dental office. If you’re seeing your dentist every six months as recommended, these problems can be identified earlier, before more damage occurs. And if you’re unhappy with your smile due to broken, chipped, or missing teeth, solutions like porcelain veneers, crowns, dental implants, and other restorative services can give you a beautiful smile again.
Are your teeth breaking? Don’t wait for the problem to get worse! Call the office of Craig Armstrong, DDS, to schedule your appointment and learn how you can get a healthy smile again!