Breaking or cracking a tooth is no laughing matter. Usually patients tell me they were just eating something soft and low and behold suddenly they found themselves chewing on a hard piece of tooth. A cracked tooth can be a sign of a more significant problem – a problem with your overall bite. Imbalances in one’s bite can lead to teeth grinding, which puts a lot of pressure on your teeth.
Studies show that when one grinds their teeth at night, they may do so for several hours at a time. This can weaken the teeth, resulting in small, microscopic cracks which, over time, get deeper and can eventually cause the tooth to break. Because most of the force of chewing is placed on the lower molars, this is where most cracks occur.
Cracked teeth aren’t the only problems that can occur as a result of an imbalanced bite.
Worn teeth, sensitive and sore teeth, gum recession, loose teeth, “TMJ” and even headaches can be caused by bite problems.
On the other hand, when your bite is right, these problems are rare.
I have had numerous patients whose pain caused them to come see me for emergency treatment. While most thought a root canal was needed, actually, all they needed was a modification in their bite. I have also had patients who for years thought they had “TMJ” only to find out that their bite was leading to jaw muscle fatigue and not a problem with their jaw joints.
I’ve devoted a significant portion of my post-graduate education to understanding the impact of bite imbalances and how to properly treat them. If you have had episodes of cracked teeth or any of the other problems discussed above, please contact my office. Patients are amazed at how addressing their bite can solve so many dental problems.