Crumbling Teeth and Breaking Teeth
One reason that people sometimes seek treatment is that they feel their teeth are crumbling and they are worried that there may be a cycle of breaking teeth leading to losing teeth.
Teeth generally crumble or break if they have previously had large fillings, especially silver ones. Metal silver fillings are generally strong if you have had a history of tooth decay, and depending on your age, there was a period of time when dentists thought that if you had a small hole in a tooth, they should drill it out and fill the whole tooth with silver amalgam filling. This was known as ‘extension for prevention’.
We now know that this is not a sensible technique, but it has left generations with very large fillings in back teeth. Eventually, the fillings corrode at the edges which can lead to micro leakage and fracture lines in the remaining tooth structure. And then one day during normal chewing, a bit of tooth falls off.
Sometimes this is easily fixed or patched up with some sticky white filling, but if it becomes a regular occurrence it is more sensible and safer to cover the whole tooth with an adhesive restoration to help hold it together. This can be a crown made from porcelain or an inlay or onlay which covers most of the biting surface of the tooth. These restorations prevent any further fractures of teeth and allow you to chew without worrying that bits might break.
The danger of teeth just breaking is that this can be unpredictable and can result in more tooth being lost, requiring more invasive or expensive treatment to repair the damage. In some cases, the tooth may have to be removed completely.
Another problem with multiple crumbling teeth is that the whole row of teeth can become worn down, and this may mean that the jaws are not in the ideal position for biting. This can result in a premature aged look to the face, or to the front teeth becoming damaged.
All in all, if you feel your teeth are crumbling, it is worth a full dental evaluation with X-rays so that a plan can be put in place to reinforce the teeth and reverse any damage that has been done. If you’re at all concerned, get in touch with us today to arrange a consultation with one of our experts.
By Elaine Halley
Last updated October 4th, 2017