A chipped or cracked tooth is an unexpected, and unwelcome surprise. Our teeth are durable and hard. The covering of enamel gives the illusion that our teeth will sustain us for a long and happy life of eating pretty much whatever we want. In the event of a dental injury, this expectation goes right out the window. Having a tooth break can set you up for a general sense of unease, a feeling of always wondering when it may happen again.
The thing about dental injuries is that they don’t “just happen.” There is always a cause behind this effect. Let’s look at a few.
The Bacteria Link
The common thought about cavities is still that these minor injuries are caused by sugar. That isn’t true. Cavities, as well as larger problems such as fractures and deep infection, are an acid problem. Under microscopic examination, we would see a high number of bacteria at play in the mouth; on teeth, in between them, on the gums, even on the tongue. Don’t worry. Bacterial activity doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not taking good care of your mouth; it’s just the natural habitat of this part of the body. However, it is crucial that we all brush twice a day (two full minutes) and flosses every day to continually reset the balance of good to bad bacteria. Brushing and flossing minimize the acidic deposits made by living microorganisms, which protects enamel from all degrees of damage.
The Stress Link
When you think about the fact that teeth break apart all sorts of foods, you can see that there is a great deal of power in the mouth. What happens to a lot of us is that the body “works out” mental stress without us knowing. In the case of the mouth, and the link between stress and tooth damage, we need to look at the potential for bruxism. This unconscious habit causes a person to clench their jaw or grind their teeth – usually when they sleep. Because this is a sleep condition, it is difficult to know if you’re engaging in this damaging habit. Your dentist can examine your teeth and jaw to find out. If you do clench and grind, a night guard can help you avoid chips, fractures, and other injuries.
In our Houston dental office, our objective is to provide friendly care to meet each patient’s needs. Schedule your visit with us at (281) 486-8061.