What to Do About Brittle Teeth
Strong enamel defends your teeth from cavity-causing bacteria!
Causes of Brittle Teeth
Have you noticed that your teeth break or chip easily? You might be experiencing brittle teeth. Teeth become brittle when the tooth enamel is weakened or worn away. Brittle teeth can be caused by several conditions or habits:
- Medical conditions such as bulimia or acid reflux can erode tooth enamel.
- Some medication side effects.
- Genetic disorder where soft enamel runs in the family.
- Diet - sticky and sugary foods, soda, acidic foods can weaken the enamel.
- Clenching or grinding can fracture or wear the enamel.
- Brushing too hard can wear down the enamel.
- Smoking, drinking, and using illicit drugs (meth/cocaine).
- Opening packages with your teeth, biting, chewing non-food products such as pens, or removing a cap from a glass bottle beverage.
- If the tooth has had a root-canal therapy.
Identifying and discussing with your dentist the specific causes of brittle teeth will pave the way towards effective treatment plans.
Protect Your Enamel
Fluoride can help re-mineralize weakened enamel. If you only drink bottled or distilled water, discuss with your dentist the possible need for a fluoride supplement or fluoride gels to re-mineralize your teeth. Dental sealants are also an option to protect the premolars and molars from tooth decay.
Managing Brittle Teeth
Brittle teeth can cause pain and sensitivity. Your dentist may recommend the following to manage brittle teeth:
- Adjust your diet if it is high in sugar and acid.
- Visit your primary doctor to address any medical conditions that may be causing weakened tooth enamel.
- Wear a mouth guard at night if you clench or grind in your sleep.
- Brush twice a day and floss daily.
- Visit your dentist for regular checkups, cleanings, and possibly fluoride treatments.
Treatment plans to repair broken or chipped teeth may include crowns or veneers. Crowns and veneers are considered major services; review your dental benefit brochure for detail on insurance coverage.