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Home > Dental Conditions > Teeth Problems > Fights Falls and Fun Gone Wrong The Many Causes Of a Broken Tooth
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Fights, Falls and Fun Gone Wrong: The Many Causes Of Broken Teeth


There's never a good time for broken teeth. Be it a "looks worse than it feels" chipped tooth or a mind-numbingly painful fractured molar, teeth have the annoying tendency to break when it's least convenient.

You can go for years without experiencing a problem with broken teeth and then one day, totally out-of-the-blue -- usually a few hours after your dentist's office closes for a three-day weekend -- a cracked tooth will "go nuclear." As you desperately try to get a hold of your dentist, you might -- between your tears -- wonder about the causes of broken teeth.

The Common Causes of Broken Teeth

Broken teeth: Suppress tooth stress to cut causes of broken teeth.

The catalysts responsible for broken teeth are infinite. They can range from going teeth first into the curb during a disastrous skateboarding stunt to a silver tooth filling wearing out after years of trouble-free service. Frequent causes of a broken tooth include:

  • Chewing on hard objects, including ice, nuts and certain candies is a common broken teeth cause
  • Accidents which result in trauma to the mouth
  • Fights and contact sports
  • Uneven chewing pressure caused by a malocclusion
  • Rapid exposure of tooth enamel to extreme temperatures, (e.g., eating hot food then drinking an ice cold beverage)
  • Brittleness caused by a root canal treatment
  • Stress on a tooth 

Remember: Though the causes of broken teeth are varied, they are far from unpredictable.

Avoiding the Causes of Broken Teeth

Are broken teeth the result of bad luck? One might think so. Teeth don't break by themselves. They need help that typically comes in the form of an accident. While accidents can't be prevented, you can take steps to avoid many of the common causes of broken and cracked teeth.

Using good common sense is the best advice for anyone interested in avoiding the causes of broken teeth.

Watch what you eat. Avoiding certain hard foods including tough breads, hard or sticky candies and unpopped popcorn kernels will reduce the likelihood of damaging your teeth. Chewing ice should be avoided at all costs as it's one of the leading causes of broken teeth.

Wear a mouth guard. Sports-related accidents are very common causes of a broken tooth. They also rank among the most easily preventable. By wearing an approved mouth guard when playing contact sports, you have taken a major step toward protecting not only your teeth but also your lips, cheeks and gums. 

Use you head, not your teeth. Don't use your teeth for purposes they were never intended, such as prying open bottles or packages.

Even Slightly Cracked Teeth Cause Big Problems

Broken teeth cause a variety of symptoms. The most common include pain while chewing and increased sensitivity to hot and cold stimuli. Ignore broken teeth symptoms at your own peril. A chipped or broken tooth can transform itself from a minor inconvenience to a full-blown dental emergency in the time it takes to sip a hot cup of tea on a cold winter morning.

Broken Teeth Are a Dental Emergency

The first instinct of most people with broken teeth is to see their dentist. It's a good instinct to follow. There is no way to perform broken tooth repair at home. Every broken tooth -- even those with seemingly minor chips -- will benefit from professional dental care.

For help in finding a dentist near you, call us 24 hours a day at 1-866-970-0441.


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