Brittle Teeth: Causes, Treatment & Prevention
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Table of Contents
- Signs & Diagnosis
- Treatment Options
- Having Brittle Teeth?
Brushing your teeth is one of the most effective ways to ensure oral hygiene. However, sometimes teeth are fragile enough that they hurt when chewing food – or even during brushing. This is one of the signs of brittle teeth.
Having brittle teeth is a condition characterized by weak enamel, which chips or breaks easily. Enamel is the hardest and strongest substances in the human body, stronger and more durable than bones.
When enamel breaks down, it automatically makes teeth weaker. When dental professionals encounter weak teeth, they know an underlying issue is the cause. If you start to experience multiple chipped or deteriorating teeth, you should see a dentist for a check-up and treatment.
Signs and Diagnosis of Fragile Teeth
Brittle teeth sometimes have no symptoms. But when symptoms occur, they range from mild chipping to severe pain.
Brittle teeth may have the following signs:
- Sensitivity to heat or cold
- Swollen gums around the brittle teeth
- Pain when biting or chewing food
- Erratic pain that is on and off
A dentist may perform a physical examination or ask about your dental history to diagnose the condition.
Causes of Brittle Teeth
If your teeth are fragile or break easily, it may stem from one or more of the following reasons:
- Genetic predisposition
- Teeth-grinding or clinching
- Poor dental care
- Poor dietary choices
- Eating disorders
- Aging teeth
- Dentinogenesis Imperfecta
You can prevent some of these reasons, although you can’t do anything about your genetics or about getting older.
Periodontitis is an infection or inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria, usually because of improper dental hygiene. In the early stages, periodontal disease does not cause tissue damage. But left untreated, the condition deteriorates into severe periodontitis.
This condition can cause deep gaps in your gum line from tissue retraction from your teeth. In severe cases, periodontitis makes your teeth fragile and prone to falling out.
Teeth Grinding or Clenching
Your teeth require minerals and vitamins to maintain healthy enamel. Any deficiencies in essential nutrients makes your teeth weak and prone to breakage. For instance, you need an abundance of Vitamin A for strong, healthy enamel. Low levels of Vitamin A cause brittle teeth.
Vitamin D deficiencies can result in inadequate absorption of essential minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, both of which promote strengthened enamel. Nutritional deficiencies come from a poor diet, eating disorders and sometimes certain medications that interfere with the absorption of nutrients.
Poor Dietary Choices
Poor Dental Care
A long-term excess of vomiting is highly detrimental to teeth, regardless of cause. Vomit contains high contents of stomach acid. Three reasons why someone might endure long periods of vomiting are:
- Gastroesophageal acid reflux disease (GERD)
- Morning sickness
- Eating disorders
Tooth enamel has no regenerative cells and cannot re-grow once it breaks down. However, dentists have several treatment options to strengthen brittle teeth. Be sure to visit a dental clinic for advice and treatment.
You should expect one or more of three treatment options:
- Fluoride therapy
- Dental sealants
Crowns and Veneers
How to Prevent Brittle Teeth
The easiest and most effective way to safeguard your teeth is to maintain regular dental hygiene. Ensure you brush your teeth and floss regularly for strong, healthy teeth.
In addition, observe the following measures:
- Visit a dentist twice a year for check-ups and cleanings. A dentist may spot oral infections and recommend the best treatment method.
- Reduce your intake of sugary and acidic foods, which are a source of bacteria that may damage your teeth.
- Eat foods rich in calcium such as fruits, green leafy vegetables, mushrooms and eggs.
- Brush your tongue regularly to keep it clean and have fresh breath. Like regular teeth-brushing and flossing, keeping your tongue clean minimizes the amount of bacteria in your mouth.
- Drink copious amounts of water. This is a tip that works for overall health, but in terms of dental health, hydration promotes the strength of enamel.
Having Brittle Teeth?
A weak, fragile enamel is a hindrance to regular teeth functioning and oral health. A combination of healthy habits such as regular brushing, avoiding sugary foods, and eating calcium-rich foods can enhance your dental health. However, if you have persistent brittle teeth, seek medical help from dental healthcare professional.
Vitamin D Deficiency and Oral Health: A Comprehensive Review.(May 2020). National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Erosion: Stomach Upset & Your Teeth. Mouth Healthy.
Repairing a Chipped or Broken Tooth. (September 2020). WebMed.
Remarkable resilience of teeth (How are Teeth so Brittle yet so Resilent). (September 2012). Marshall University.