Why did a piece of my tooth break off?

If you were not injured in an accident and you have a broken tooth, you may be wondering why your tooth broke at all. While the most common dental emergency is a broken tooth, not all of them happen while playing sports without tooth protection. They are most common in children and older adults; children are certainly accident prone. Older people have worn down their enamel layer which is the hardest tissue in the human body that protects the delicate inner pulp. You can crack, break, or chip a tooth at any age for a number of reasons and in more than one place on your tooth.

Your teeth are made of two parts: the crown that is visible and able your gums and the root that sits below your gums and supports the rest of your tooth. As mentioned above, the crown of the tooth has an enamel top layer, a dentin middle layer, and a pulp inner layer. As you move from the top towards the inside of the crown, the tissues get softer and more sensitive. Depending on where your tooth broke, you may affect one or all three layers of the crown. And some fractures can extend below the gum line and affect the root of the tooth.

If your broken tooth hurts or is sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, then your fracture is most likely exposing the dentin and potentially the pulp of your tooth. Other times, people do not have any changes to their mouths and may not realize they chipped a tooth until after it happened. The important action to take is making a dental appointment to have the fracture examined by the dentist and to start the best treatment plan for your case.

The following are the most common reasons why people break, chip, and crack their teeth:

* Your Age - As you get older, the enamel on your teeth starts to wear and get thinner. Without the hard protection of the enamel, your teeth are not as strong as they once were.

* Your Food Choices - People who crunch down on hard foods regularly like nuts, popcorn kernels, and candy can risk breaking their teeth with those foods.

* Your Chewing Habits - If you are someone who chews on ice cubes or regularly chew gum, then you may be increasing the chance that you crack a tooth in the future.

* Past Cavities or Root Canals - If you have had a large cavity repaired with a dental filling or you have had a root canal treatment in the past, the structure of your natural tooth is no longer as strong and durable as your other natural teeth.

* Teeth Clenching and Grinding - People who suffer from bruxism and do not treat their clenching and grinding are not only irritating their jaw but they are damaging the teeth, especially where they meet. Added pressure with frequency wears down even the most healthy teeth over time.

* Accidents - Playing sports, falls, accidents, and violence are the most obvious reasons for a tooth to fracture and may not need any further explanation.


Broken Tooth and Infection