Why Are My Teeth Breaking?

Teeth Suddenly Breaking

Are your teeth breaking into pieces or crumbling? Is it suddenly, or have you always had a problem with brittle teeth? While tooth enamel is meant to be the hardest material in the human body, it’s also subject to heavy wear and tear daily. Sometimes, our teeth cannot handle the stress we subject them to, and this, paired with poor oral hygiene habits, can mean that teeth begin to break.

Once teeth begin to break, they often don’t stop

Some parts of the teeth are more prone to cracking than others; the most vulnerable parts are the chewing surfaces and the cusps, which endure more pressure and wear from daily activities like biting and chewing.

Molars and premolars are the most common and most susceptible to cracking. The grooves and fissures can harbour bacteria that, if not removed correctly, can lead to decay. When the enamel is weakened due to decay, the surface of these teeth is more prone to fractures.

So, if you’ve noticed a crack in one of these teeth, it will likely get worse and won’t stop there.

Please remember that seeking treatment immediately is often recommended, as the more tooth structure you lose, the more complex your treatment and the more costly it can become.

chipped and worn teeth

What causes teeth to break? Why are they breaking all of a sudden?

  • Trauma or biting hard objects
  • Tooth decay or poor oral hygiene
  • Old fillings or large restorations broken off
  • Weak enamel or age
  • Gum disease or bruxism

Sometimes, a broken tooth is classed as a dental emergency. If you find that the tooth is breaking into pieces, the culprit is likely tooth decay and we’ll need to treat the issue before it spreads to other areas of your mouth.

Don’t stress, fixing broken teeth is easy

Treatments for broken teeth are often straightforward and affordable. Depending on the extent of the broken tooth, we can use composite bonding, often priced at £150, to rebuild the tooth. In cases of bigger cracks where the tooth has completely broken apart, we recommend a crown to prevent the tooth from being extracted.

The best way to treat broken teeth is to first understand what causes them to break. This can help us prescribe longer-term treatment instead of quick patch-up jobs. For example, if your teeth break due to poor oral hygiene, regular deep cleaning and hygiene appointments can rectify this in the long term.

But treating your malocclusion with either fixed or removable braces might be better if the teeth are stressed because of a bite condition.

What to do with a broken tooth now

  • Gently rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the affected area and remove any debris.
  • If bleeding, apply gentle pressure with a clean gauze or cloth until the bleeding stops.
  • Use a cold compress or ice pack wrapped in a cloth on the outside of your cheek near the chipped tooth to reduce swelling and relieve pain.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen as directed if you experience pain.
  • Avoid eating hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that could further damage the chipped tooth. Stick to soft foods and chew on the opposite side of your mouth until you can see a dentist.
  • Cover any sharp or jagged edges of the chipped tooth with sugar-free gum or dental wax to protect your tongue and cheeks from cuts.
  • Contact your dentist as soon as possible to have the chipped tooth examined and treated.
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