Why Are My Teeth Cracking All Of A Sudden?

Tooth enamel is the toughest element in your body. And it should be to handle all the chewing and biting we do every day. A crack or two can trigger a concern: “Why are my teeth cracking all of a sudden?”

It happens because, sometimes, our teeth can’t handle all the pressure we put on them. Once they start breaking, it can be hard to stop. A cracked tooth can have a domino effect on your dental health. The following are some major causes of teeth cracking:

  1. Genetics
    Sometimes, tooth problems are genetic. Just like with other parts of the body, tooth strength varies from person to person. Some people have very strong dental enamel and dentin, while others have weaker teeth. At the weak end, there are genetic conditions that make teeth more fragile.
    Dentinogenesis imperfecta is when the dentin (the middle layer of the tooth) doesn’t form properly. Amelogenesis imperfecta is a condition where the enamel (the outer layer of the tooth) doesn’t form correctly. Both conditions make teeth more likely to break. Some people have weak dentin or enamel, even if they don’t have these specific conditions.
  2. Medications
    If you have multiple broken teeth, check the side effects of your medications. Some medicines can weaken your teeth by making it hard for your body to absorb calcium or by causing a dry mouth. If you think your medications are contributing to your broken teeth, talk to your doctor about alternatives, different dosages, or ways to manage the risks.
  3. Acidic and Sugary Food
    Tooth enamel is strong but weak against acid. Regularly eating acidic foods like citrus or vinegar can weaken your teeth. Acidic drinks like wine, energy drinks, and fruit juices can also harm your teeth.
    Sugary foods and drinks can cause similar damage. They feed bacteria in your mouth that produce acid, which creates cavities. These bacteria stick to your teeth and put acid directly on them.
  4. Poor Oral Hygiene
    Not brushing and flossing regularly can trigger acidic damage that results in teeth breaking off. However, brushing too often or too hard can also erode your enamel. To protect your teeth:

    • Use a less abrasive toothpaste
    • Don’t brush too hard (some electric toothbrushes have pressure sensors to help)
    • Don’t brush with toothpaste more than twice a day
    • We can help you find the right balance in your oral hygiene routine.
  5. Teeth Grinding
    Clenching and grinding your teeth can stress your enamel, causing it to crack and erode. This might not cause cracked teeth at first, but once your teeth start chipping and cracking, more can be affected.
  6. Bite Problems
    Biting and chewing forces should be balanced. Bite problems, often related to temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ or TMD), can pressure certain teeth, making them chip and crack. Crooked teeth can also lead to uneven bite forces, causing some teeth to bear more pressure and crack.
  7. Dehydration and Dry Mouth
    A dry mouth can harm your teeth. Saliva helps reduce harmful bacteria, neutralize acid, and provide minerals that strengthen teeth. Without enough saliva, your teeth can weaken. Avoid getting dehydrated, and if you often have a dry mouth, talk to your doctor or dentist about solutions.
  8. Too Many Fillings (Especially Metal Amalgam)
    Fillings protect your teeth but aren’t as strong as natural tooth material. Many fillings can make teeth more prone to breaking. Metal amalgam fillings are particularly problematic because they expand and contract differently than your teeth when exposed to hot foods and drinks, causing cracks.
  9. Hard Foods
    Avoid eating hard foods like unpopped popcorn kernels, crunching ice, or using your teeth to crack nuts. Ideally, you shouldn’t eat anything much harder than a raw carrot, as these can contribute to breaking teeth.
  10. Nutritional Deficiency
    Your body needs nutrients to maintain your teeth. Ensure you get enough calcium and the vitamins that help absorb and use it, like vitamins D and K.
  11. Chain Reaction
    Your teeth work together to manage biting and chewing. When one tooth breaks, the force distribution changes, and neighboring teeth lose support. This can form a chain reaction of more teeth breaking.

Concluding Thoughts

Understanding “Why are my teeth breaking all of a sudden?” can help you eliminate all the triggers that cause tooth breakage. If you have already cracked a tooth or two, there are multiple treatments available to fix or replace them.

Visit Dr. Brian Ryu at Cypress Oral Surgery. Our oral and maxillofacial surgeon has extensive experience in providing tooth extractions and dental implants. Call us at (281) 667-0607 to book an appointment.

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