Cracked teeth can be a cause for concern. And rightfully so. If not treated quickly, a cracked tooth will become incredibly painful, and you risk losing the tooth due to sustained damage. It also may impact neighboring teeth, causing these teeth to shift to fill in the space of the cracked tooth. Basically, it creates a domino effect for the rest of your mouth. Thankfully, no matter the severity of the cracked tooth, Southern Endodontic Specialist offers cracked teeth treatment. Schedule an appointment today.
However, you may wonder what causes a cracked tooth. After all, you don’t just wake up and discover your tooth has suddenly split in half. While there is no limit on how you can crack a tooth (we’ve heard them all), here are the top five causes of a cracked tooth and suggestions for how to protect yourself.
1. Your Age
Much like your bones, your teeth become more brittle as you age. This means it is far easier for your teeth to chip and crack, doing things you might have done years earlier. Plenty of people have cracked their teeth trying to eat hard candy or nuts. They also might split a tooth attempting to chomp down on an unpopped popcorn kernel.
There are a few things you can do to try and prevent this.
You need to take care of your teeth by brushing them at least twice a day and go in for regular checkups. This way, your dentist can discuss with you ways to keep your teeth healthy, especially as you age.
Also, avoid biting down on hard objects. Don’t nibble popcorn kernels, don’t chew ice, and let the candy dissolve naturally in your mouth, don’t try to bite it. By avoiding putting extra pressure on your teeth, you will avoid many of the food causes of cracked teeth.
2. Large Fillings
If you had a large cavity or you had a root canal performed years ago, chances are the dentist removed a good amount of the original tooth to clear out the cavity and clean out the root canal. They will then apply a filling to protect the tooth. A filling is good, but it isn’t as strong as the actual tooth (especially fillings from a decade or two ago). This can leave the rest of the tooth susceptible to cracking, especially as the filling ages.
Most fillings are not designed to last for the rest of your life. They might have a general lifespan of a decade or two, but eventually, they will likely need to be replaced.
Again, with regular dental exams, your general dentist will be able to take x-rays and determine whether a new filling is recommended.
3. Sudden Trauma
Trauma can come in many shapes and forms. It is possible to trip and fall, striking your jaw against the ground. Perhaps you were playing sports and caught an elbow to the teeth, or you misplayed a popup, and a softball caught you square in the mouth. All of these things can happen at a moment’s notice. Sudden trauma is also a common cause of root canals, as it may damage the nerve endings within the tooth. At times, both may happen during the same injury.
While you can’t always safeguard against tripping and falling, you can protect your mouth when playing contact sports. That is why it is highly recommended to wear a mouthguard during any sporting event where there’s a chance of catching an elbow or ball to the face. A well-molded mouth guard will give you that extra bit of padding to protect your teeth.
Thankfully, mouthguards are incredibly inexpensive and can be picked up from most large grocery stores. Just make sure to recast the mouthguard every few months, as it might shrink and expand in the weather (not to mention chewing on the mouthguard can damage it as well).
4. Teeth Grinding
Grinding your teeth, especially at night, can lead to all kinds of oral issues. It has been known to dislocate jaws and cause extreme soreness in the muscles around the mouth. It may also lead to cracked teeth because you are putting an unusual amount of pressure on specific teeth, often at strange angles.
If you wake up with a sore jaw from time to time and don’t know why, chances are it is because you grind your teeth. Talk to your dentist about this, and they will provide you with the necessary tools to help correct the problem.
5. Bad Habits
Bad habits die hard. But sometimes you need to work and do what you can to stop them. Maybe you’ve been chewing bubble gum since your baseball playing days. It’s a fun habit, but it can also lead to all types of dental problems. From loosening fillings to even cracking teeth, the constant chewing will eventually wear down your teeth, and the sugar in bubble gum doesn’t help either. So if you’re chewing gum or chewing ice, you might want to think twice about it.
Schedule Your Visit Today
Have you suffered a cracked tooth? If so, you want to avoid sitting around with the injury. The longer you put off making an appointment, the greater the chance of losing the tooth. It is far more cost-effective to address the situation head-on right now (not to mention you won’t have the pain to deal with once the problem is corrected). So, whether it is a minor crack or has split all the way down to the gum line, give Southern Endodontic Specialists a call right away to schedule your visit.