Many times, a tooth fractures and it is a total surprise to patients. They weren’t necessarily eating anything hard at the time. Their tooth was not decayed. Nor did they fall or otherwise receive a hard blow to the mouth. Jamie J. Alexander, D.D.S., in Boynton Beach, FL, not only has the answer to this question, but he is also delighted to help those who have a cracked tooth receive the latest, best care to restore it.
“Why did my tooth crack is a question I hear just about every week in my office,” says Dr. Alexander. “Our teeth are remarkably durable, but a lot of dental wear and tear can occur over the years that patients don’t observe because they are used to seeing themselves in the mirror every day and also aren’t opening wide to look at all surfaces of their teeth. Bruxism (habitual night time teeth grinding) wears down and weakens tooth enamel. It can even cause hairline stress fractures. Poor tooth alignment can cause teeth to interfere with each other when biting and chewing, over time, wearing down enamel and also causing fine fracture in the enamel. Large dental fillings can weaken teeth, especially older amalgam filings that don’t support the remaining tooth enamel well.”
Dr. Alexander reminds patients that natural tooth enamel isn’t the only thing that can undergo wear and tear. If you have had dental fillings, onlays, inlays, crowns, bridges, dentures and implant restorations, they might also be undergoing stress. “It’s always best to maintain a regular schedule of dental checkups and prophylactic dental cleanings so I can observe any signs of wear and make occlusal adjustments or redo restorations before infection or another issue sets in,” says Dr. Alexander. “When a tooth or restoration chips or breaks, it may not hurt; however, your tongue will feel the sharp edges. A broken tooth that is not painful is not a dental emergency. Nevertheless, please call early on the next business day so we can expedite seeing you and eliminate tongue discomfort. If a large piece of tooth or an entire restoration breaks off, you may be in immediate strong pain, and this constitutes a dental emergency worthy of an immediate phone call. If you are unsure about whether your broken tooth warrants a dental emergency, please give us a call at (561) 739-4778 today.