Wondering whether there is anything you can do to avoid getting a cracked tooth? Read on to learn about what habits can lead to cracking a tooth. Some instances of cracked teeth are simply unpreventable, such as enduring a blow to the mouth during a car accident or from a hard and unavoidable fall. However, there are certain habits that increase the likelihood of a cracked tooth, and understanding them can help you take precautions to prevent damage from occurring to your teeth.
The most notable causes of a cracked tooth are bruxism, chewing on ice and other hard objects, and taking part in physically-demanding activities without a mouthguard. Poor oral hygiene and a diet that is high in sugar and other carbs can increase the risk of a cracked tooth as well.
Bruxism is the technical term for grinding teeth while asleep. This is done without the person realizing that they are doing it. Individuals with high levels of stress or that have obstructive sleep apnea are at an increased risk of bruxism, but it can happen to anyone. The best way to prevent bruxism from causing cracked teeth is to wear a nightguard specifically designed for bruxism. Most dentists offer customized nightguards for patients that show signs of bruxism.
Ice and hard candies are leading causes of cracked teeth as well. It may seem harmless, but biting down on hard objects can lead to a sudden and unexpected cracked tooth. Other causes of cracked teeth include hard cough drops, hard meats with bones, and biting nails.
Another common cause of cracked teeth is a blow to the face. This commonly occurs as a result of accidents during physical activity, especially contact sports. Consequently, anyone who plays a contact sport should wear a mouthguard during practices and games. Popular sports that carry a high risk of a blow to the face include football, baseball, softball, basketball, lacrosse, and basketball. Of course, there are many other activities that can also cause trauma to the teeth and jaw.
Poor oral hygiene practices can weaken enamel, which consequently increases the risk of a cracked tooth (or other forms of tooth damage). It is important to keep the enamel clean and strong by strengthening it with fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash, along with flossing to remove bacteria and food particles between teeth.
Foods that are high in sugar, starch, and other carbohydrates can also contribute to weakened enamel and a higher risk of a cracked tooth. Commonly consumed foods that are bad for tooth enamel include citrus fruits, sugar-filled snacks, and soft drinks.
Here at our dental office, we help patients with the prevention of oral health concerns such as a cracked tooth, along with treating damaged teeth if incidents do occur. If you are searching for a reputable and experienced dentist in the area, then we invite you to contact our dental office today to schedule an appointment.