We never expect for a tooth to break or suffer damage. It happens, though. Usually, a dental injury is followed by a sense of confusion as to how that could have possibly happened. Our teeth are, in fact, made up of very strong materials. So, it is understandable that a person may feel frustrated as if their tooth failed them when a chip or fracture occurs when least expected. Here, we will point out a few of the common, though subtle, reasons for dental injuries.
The Oral Environment
One of the primary factors in accidental tooth damage is bacteria. We all have bacteria in our mouth; it’s a natural part of being alive. Because the microorganisms that live in the mouth are also alive, it makes sense to know that they eat, and they excrete. It sounds unpleasant to think of it this way, but these are just the facts. When acidic byproduct is left on teeth, enamel deteriorates, usually at a relatively slow pace. This risk factor can be reduced by brushing and flossing every day without fail. After meals and beverages that may be sugary or acidic (coffee included), a quick swish of water through the mouth can dilute residue that presents a risk to healthy teeth.
The Head Space
When we say head space, we are referring to a state of mind. To be direct, we mean that stress has a direct impact on oral health. Not only does stress cause a lot of us to reach for less-than-healthy foods, but stress is also a primary cause of jaw-clenching and tooth-grinding. We refer to this as bruxism. Often, patients who clench or grind do not realize they are doing it until a dental injury occurs. The force of a clenched jaw is enough to fracture a tooth or restoration and is also a factor in gum recession. Stress management techniques may help resolve the issue, but, in the meantime, patients are encouraged to obtain a night guard to protect their teeth.
Your Shakopee dentist provides care tailored to your needs. To schedule a visit at O’Brien Dental Care, call (952) 445-6657.