What Causes a Broken Tooth?

It may seem strange that teeth, coated in the body’s hardest material (enamel), can actually break. However, when teeth break, it is not usually an instantaneous process. Oftentimes, teeth break after they have been weakened over prolonged periods of time. Thus according to your Austin TX dentist, Dr. Steven Van Wicklen, two of the most common causes behind a broken tooth are bruxism (teeth grinding) and tooth decay.

Bruxism can lead to a broken tooth by weakening teeth on a nightly basis. As teeth are forced to slide against one another, often without the knowledge of the person sleeping, they begin to wear down as enamel is scraped away. As bruxism continues, teeth will become more and more vulnerable to structural damage, and eventually, if bruxism is not treated, it is very likely that they will break.

Tooth decay works in a similar fashion to weaken teeth, although much of the damage occurs within the tooth. The larger a cavity grows, the weaker a tooth will become as it is hollowed out by decay. Eventually, the tooth will become so weak that it cannot stand up to the forces that are inflicted upon it, resulting in structural damage.

Prevention and Solutions

Preventing a broken tooth from occurring means being very conscious of your oral health. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once. In addition, be sure to attend dental cleanings with regularity so that a hygienist can scrape bacteria-ridden tartar from your teeth. Dental cleanings also allow your Austin TX dentist, Dr. Van Wicklen, to examine your teeth for signs of decay, and because bruxism can leave visible signs of wear on teeth, Dr. Van Wicklen can also look for any indication that you are grinding your teeth. If he discovers signs of either tooth decay or bruxism, your Austin TX dentist will recommend the appropriate treatment (a dental filling for tooth decay and a sleep guard for bruxism). If, however, you do end up suffering a broken tooth, a dental crown can repair the damage and reinforce your tooth, restoring its function.

Dental Crowns in Austin TX

If you have a broken tooth that needs to be repaired, your Austin TX dentist can restore your tooth fast. Dr. Van Wicklen offers CEREC same day dental crowns, making use of an in-office milling machine and state-of-the-art technology to create dental crowns for his patients. Many dental practices rely on an off-site lab to fabricate crowns for their patients, resulting in the need for multiple dental visits. However, by utilizing this technology, your Austin TX dentist can limit your restoration to a single dental visit.

About Dr. Steven Van Wicklen: Dr. Steven Van Wicklen has been serving patients in Austin TX since 1985. New patients can schedule an appointment by calling (512) 448-3131.