What Causes Teeth To Break

If you have a broken tooth or multiple broken teeth, you may be feeling understandably self- conscious. While most people experience a broken tooth at some point in their lives, this doesn’t make the experience any less upsetting.

Fortunately, if you have a broken, chipped, or cracked tooth, there is plenty that can be done to fix the situation and restore your smile to its former glory. Interested to find out what causes teeth to break and what are the best treatment options?
Read on to discover all the reasons why you may experience broken or cracked teeth and how to go about fixing them.

What are the different types of cracked teeth?

There are several different types of cracked teeth, including:

  • Craze lines: These are very small cracks that occur in the tooth enamel. These are not

    painful and do not require dental treatment.

  • Fractured cusp: These mostly occur around a dental filling and should not cause any


  • Cracks that extend into the gumline: A crack in your tooth that extends to the

    gumline may require a tooth extraction. Schedule an appointment with your dentist as

    soon as possible for the best chance of saving the tooth.

  • Split tooth: A crack that travels from the surface of the tooth to below the gum line is

    known as a split tooth. In these cases, it is unlikely that your dentist will be able to

    save the entire tooth.

  • Vertical root fracture: This type of cracked tooth begins below the gum line and

    goes upwards. You may not experience any pain. However, in most cases, the tooth will need to be extracted.

What causes chips, cracks, and breaks to the teeth?

There are many different reasons why your teeth may become chipped, cracked, or broken, and if you are conscious about avoiding this, you will need to watch out for the following:

• Teeth grinding

If you regularly grind your teeth, which many people do, especially at night, this puts pressure on them, which can lead to chips, cracks, and breakages.

• Large fillings

If you have large fillings, this can weaken the overall integrity of a tooth and cause it to chip, crack, or break completely.

• Hard foods

Chewing and biting hard foods such as nuts, ice, and hard candy can result in a broken, chipped, or cracked tooth. Eating acidic foods can also increase your risk of broken teeth as these break down the enamel on the tooth, making them weaker and more prone to breaking.

• Injuries or falls

If you experience a blow to the mouth or you fall over and hit the mouth area, this can result in a broken tooth or several.

• Age

As you age, your teeth naturally become weaker and more prone to breakages and chips. Typically, once you reach the age of 50, you need to be more vigilant of breaks, cracks, and chips.

• Habits

If you chew gum or ice on a regular basis, then you are more likely to experience a broken or fractured tooth.

How do dentists treat a broken or fractured tooth?

Depending on the amount of damage that your tooth has sustained, your dentist may recommend one of the below dental procedures:

  • Bonding. This involves using plastic resin to fill in the fracture and restore the tooth.

  • Cosmetic contouring. This involves rounding and polishing the edges around the tooth to smooth out any breaks or cracks.

  • Dental crowns. This involves fitting a porcelain or ceramic cap over the broken tooth. This is often recommended if you don’t have enough of your natural tooth left for a veneer.

  • Tooth extraction. If the root and nerves in your tooth are badly damaged, the entire tooth may need to be extracted.

  • Root canal treatment. To prevent further weakening of the tooth, a root canal is often recommended when there is severe damage to the root and nerves of the tooth.

  • Veneer placement. If you still have plenty of your natural tooth left, your dentist may suggest a veneer. This is a thin covering of plastic or porcelain that is placed over the front of the tooth. In some cases, if you are not in any pain and your broken, chipped, or cracked tooth is not affecting your appearance too much, your dentist may say that you do not require any treatment.

Here at BAFDentistry, we will talk you through all your options so that you can make the right choice for you and your smile.


How to avoid broken teeth

If you want to avoid broken teeth, the best course of action that you can take is to invest your time and effort in a consistent oral health routine.
Make sure that you brush your teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush, and, on top of this, floss at least once a day. This will not only protect you from becoming broken but will also reduce your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

You should also avoid eating very hard foods and make sure you wear the right protective equipment when playing sports.
If you are prone to grinding your teeth, it can be a good idea to look into ways that you can reduce the amount of stress you experience. You can also ask your dentist about getting a night guard made, which can help protect your teeth from the effects of grinding during the night.

Final thoughts

While you cannot completely eliminate the risk of breaking a tooth, there are steps that you can take to reduce the likelihood of breakage occurring. Most notably, you should practice good oral health and have a consistent oral hygiene routine that involves twice daily brushing and daily flossing.

If you break a tooth or notice a crack or chip, make sure that you make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to arrange the right treatment and have the best possible chance of saving your tooth.