Understanding Brittle Teeth & How to Treat Them
Tooth enamel is quite strong. In fact, it’s stronger than an average human bone. So, naturally, if you feel like your teeth are about to crack, chip, or get damaged, you know you have a serious problem.
Obviously, your first reaction in case of weak teeth should be to undergo proper treatment. A dentist will most likely suggest a procedure like getting veneers or crowns. And sure enough, you can get veneers in Lakeview, Chicago, IL at a reasonable cost. But we will discuss treatment options a little later. First and foremost, you need to know why teeth get brittle and how you can manage this issue. No, managing it isn’t easy, but it might end up saving you lots of money in medical expenses, not to mention your overall health.
What Causes Brittle Teeth?
As we stated earlier, tooth enamel is quite tough. However, different things can happen over time that will make it weaker, causing the teeth to break, chip, or crack. Here’s a list of potential causes of brittle teeth:
Poor Dental Care
According to the CDC article on dental hygiene, which you can read here: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db197.htm, more than 97% of adults between ages 20 and 64 have caries or cavities, and of those adults, at least 27% suffer from some sort of tooth decay. The most common reason behind these conditions is improper dental care. In other words, if you don’t brush your teeth correctly, you risk eroding the enamel and making them brittle.
Sometimes, even carelessness can lead to brittle teeth. For instance, a lot of people who clench or grit their teeth don’t realize that it can weaken their enamel.
Dehydration and Dry Mouth
Your body produces saliva in order to neutralize acids and remove any residue from your mouth. If you’re dehydrated, you’re not producing any saliva, so your mouth becomes dry. But more importantly, acids keep forming and they slowly erode your teeth.
There are times when your body won’t receive enough vital nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals. For example, a poor diet or an eating disorder can lead to vitamin A or vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin A is especially essential for enamel strength. Vitamin D, on the other hand, helps absorb minerals like phosphorus and calcium. Both of these are crucial for strengthening enamel and making your teeth sturdy. So, if you don’t receive enough of either vitamin, you risk having weak, brittle teeth.
Dentin is one of four major components of our teeth alongside enamel, pulp, and cementum. If it doesn’t form correctly, it can lead to an abnormal formation of the middle layer of your teeth. Not only will that make your teeth discolored, but it will also weaken them and make them susceptible to breaking.
As stated earlier, acids can cause enamel to decay and erode over time. We can expose our teeth to harmful acids in several different ways:
Sucking on citrus fruit wedges (especially lemons)
Vomiting profusely and frequently
Suffering from symptoms of GERD
Facing severe morning sickness
Consuming too much food and beverages with sugar (for instance, sodas and candy)
Aging will naturally cause enamel to weaken, thus making your teeth brittle. As you grow old, both the nerves and the pulp that supply the teeth shrink. That shrinkage prevents fluid from reaching the enamel, causing the teeth to go dry and eventually crack.
How to Manage Brittle Teeth
Managing brittle teeth is a process. It takes some getting used to, and it might take even more time before you kick-start the recovery process. However, once you do, your teeth will be as strong as ever.
In order to manage weak teeth or prevent any further deterioration, try one of the following:
- Sip water often throughout the day so you can prevent dehydration
- Make sure your diet consists of fruits and vegetables, as well as lots of calcium-filled food
- Avoid eating sweets or drinking soda; if you have a sugar habit or addiction, talk to your doctor and figure out how to effectively break it
- Taking vitamin supplements is a good idea, but talk to your doctor or dentist before you start taking them
- Brush your teeth twice a day; make sure you use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste
- While brushing, don’t apply too much pressure, since it might damage the enamel
- Avoid gritting your teeth
- Use different techniques to handle any sleeping or eating disorders; popular choices include behavior therapy and psychotherapy
- Use a mouthguard at night if you grind your teeth while sleeping
- Discuss medication and therapy with your doctor for acid reflux or excessive vomiting
- Think about getting a treatment at your local dentist; we have listed the four most popular treatments for brittle teeth down below.
Treating Brittle Teeth
There are various types of brittle treatments out there that you can try. However, before you get one, you should know that it won’t help you regrow enamel. Nevertheless, a dentist can still help reinforce your teeth, even if the damage to the enamel is severe.
The most common treatments for brittle teeth include:
Fluoride supplements are perfect for both children and adults. They can help remineralize the teeth and prevent decay. Moreover, they come in a variety of types, such as gels, lozenges, capsules, tablets, and tinctures.
Getting a crown is quite a common procedure, especially if you had to get a root canal done. A crown is basically a thick, strong tooth covering that prevents any breaking or formation of cavities.
A dental sealant is a plastic coating that usually goes on the chewing surface of your permanent back teeth. It can help prevent any decay or deterioration of these surfaces, keeping your teeth strong.
Veneers are basically thin layers of material that a dentist places over the surface of the tooth. Not only do they prevent any enamel damage, but they also provide the patient with a pearl-white smile. In other words, they are aesthetically the best option for everyone.
Brittle Teeth: Final Thoughts
Having brittle teeth can be a nightmare unless you do something about it. Even something as simple as brushing twice a day can help prevent the condition. However, if you already have brittle teeth and want a permanent solution to the issue, we suggest getting veneers as soon as possible. It might just bring back the shine that your teeth have been lacking for years.