The occurrence of cracked teeth is becoming more evident today than in the past. A recent study discovered that the number of dental visits due to a cracked tooth visits increased in 2020 and that the COVID-19 pandemic may be the potential underlying problem. According to the study, the stress associated with COVID-19 resulted in habits of clenching and grinding in people, thereby increasing the rate of fractured teeth.
Common causes of Tooth Fracture
Most common causes of a cracked tooth as a result of trauma include car accidents, sports-related injuries, falls, and physical assault. In general, a cracked front tooth is more challenging to treat than a fractured molar.
Tooth decay generally weakens the structure of teeth. While a cracked tooth does not always indicate you have a cavity, a large tooth cavity can lead to the tooth breaking because of lack of support for the enamel of the tooth.
Chewing Hard Foods
Our teeth are designed for chewing. The enamel of the tooth is the strongest part of the body. However, the enamel is brittle similar to glass and is not meant for frequent chewing of hard foods. Biting on hard edible foods such as candy and ice is never recommended. Hard foods with shells can cause small micro fractures in the teeth over time and eventually lead to complete breaking of part of the tooth.
Clenching and Grinding
Grinding and clenching over time are a major factor in teeth fractures. Teeth grinding is generally associated with dealing with stressful situations. Clenching or grinding subject the enamel of teeth to excess pressure and wear, which makes teeth vulnerable to fracturing and other dental issues. Studies show that excessive grinding and clenching additionally causes a risk of developing temporomandibular joint syndrome and complications.
Prevention of tooth fracture
Wear a night guard
Bruxism, clenching and grinding need to be treated and prevented. Without proper treatment, bruxism can become severe. Consult an experienced dentist regarding the habit. A dentist understands the symptoms and initiates treatment based on the underlying factor. Wearing a protective night guard is recognized as the most reliable treatment for bruxism.
Practice caution when Chewing Hard Foods
It is best to cut crunchy foods into bite-size pieces to help your teeth at time of chewing. This reduces the pressure exerted on your teeth. Also, try to avoid directly into hard nuts or popcorn, and completely avoid chewing ice.
Avoid Using Teeth as Tools
One common inappropriate behavior is using teeth to open bottles or plastic bags. Teeth are strong, but not designed to be abused. It is difficult notice that teeth are starting to crack. Repeated improper use of teeth will gradually lead to fractures. Similarly, avoid using your teeth to cut nails.
Periodic Dental Check Exams
Regular dental visits are very significant for evaluating the health of teeth and preventing major dental issues. Make sure you visit your dental professional on a regular basis.
Dr. David Hakham, Montebello Dentist provides excellent quality dentistry to adults and children. Contact us today for any dental needs.