A cracked tooth isn’t just annoying, it’s something that (if gone untreated), can lead to pain and discomfort. In severe cases, a tooth’s nerves can be exposed, leading to inflammation, antibiotics, and even additional work such as a root canal.
So, what are some common ways people crack their teeth?
An estimated 10 percent (over 30 million) of Americans grind their teeth while they sleep. It’s even higher in children. It’s called Bruxism, and if gone untreated it can cause chipped or cracked teeth, poor sleep, and an overall lower quality of life.
Using Teeth Improperly
Your teeth have one job; to chew food. That “food”doesn’t include ice, candy, and corn kernels. Your teeth are also not meant to be used as a tool to open packages or bottle caps.
We’ve all seen the athlete with a chipped tooth. In some sports, it’s seen as a badge of honor. A hard blow in an intense game can even knock your tooth out. By simply wearing a mouthguard when playing extreme sports can greatly decrease your odds of ending up with a cracked tooth.
Cavities can be annoying, but if gone untreated, can lead to issues such as a cracked tooth! If a cavity has weakened your tooth’s enamel, that tooth may become weak and crack when chewing on foods that would otherwise cause no issues with a healthy tooth. Simply put, be proactive when it comes to cavity prevention.
A 2015 Acta Biomater study showed that the fracture toughness of old enamel (in people over 55) was nearly 70% lower than that of tissue from young people (under the age of 25). As we age, we need to take a proactive position by protecting our teeth with good oral habits, optimal nutrition, and an overall healthy lifestyle.
Most of us crack a tooth and never think of it again. The truth is, a cracked tooth often leads to more cracked teeth, and this can lead to extensive oral issues.
A 2013 study by Hilton and Ferracane documented that of the 1,962 patients they evaluated, 66.1% of them had at least one cracked molar, and 46.2% had more than one cracked molar.
There seems to be an epidemic of “cracked” teeth happening among Americans, and it’s only getting worse. Bottom line; if we respect our teeth, there’s no reason why they can’t last us a lifetime.
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