Ask a Dentist: 7 Potential Causes of a Cracked Tooth
People have nightmares about the way it feels to have a tooth crack – and for good reason. It can be painful and jarring. In other cases, it can happen at a time when you don’t even notice it. Whether or not a tooth crack is a dental emergency depends on how severe the crack is. However, it’s always worth making an appointment with a dentist to have it looked at. One of the questions we often get at California Dental Group is why the tooth cracked. There are many potential reasons, including the following seven.
- You may have bitten down on something hard
- You were chewing on something you shouldn’t have
- Jewelry and piercings
- You were using your teeth as tools
- You have older dental work
- You grind your teeth
- Your teeth came into contact with an extreme temperature
The most common cause of a cracked tooth is simply biting down on something hard. It could be a piece of hard candy or a nut, or something that doesn’t seem that hard, such as a bread crust or a carrot. If you bite on it in the right way, almost anything can crack a tooth.
Things that we refer to as “almost food” can easily crack your teeth. This includes ice cubes and popcorn kernels that haven’t popped.
If you have piercings in your tongue or cheek, then you could end up cracking a tooth. Think about it this way: You have a piece of metal that’s repeatedly coming into contact with your teeth. Eventually it’s likely to crack or break one.
It’s true that our ancestors used their teeth as tools, but these days there are better options. Use your teeth to chew your food and other tools for things like cutting things open or opening bottles.
Certain types of dental work can weaken the structure of your teeth. This is especially true of older silver amalgam fillings, which can result in cracked teeth. This is why when your dentist recommends replacing fillings with composite fillings, it’s a good idea to following their advice.
People who grind their teeth at night are at a much higher risk of cracking a tooth. Over time, grinding wears down the enamel, revels your dentin layer, and can lead to cracks. Talk to us at California Dental Group and we can come up with some options for you.
Most people are familiar with cold water having the ability to break hot glass, or hot water breaking cold glass. The same can be true of your teeth. If you have a very hot drink and then take a cold drink, the surface of your teeth could crack.
No matter if you know the exact reason your tooth cracked or you’re in the dark, it’s important to see a dentist. If you’re in pain then you should make an emergency appointment. Otherwise, call us at (800) 407-0161, give us the details of your crack, and we’ll get you set up with an appointment.