Your regular dental checkups allow a dentist to identify potential problems in their early stages of development, meaning that the necessary intervention is far less involved. This only works if you actually go to those checkups at your local dental clinic. Teeth that have become brittle haven't done so overnight. It will have been a slow, drawn-out process, but what are some of the reasons why your teeth have become brittle?
A Medical Condition
The most serious (and least common) cause of brittle teeth is a condition called regional odontodysplasia. This is when all components of the tooth's anatomy fail to develop properly, meaning that the tooth lacks density (and is susceptible to brittleness). Teeth affected by regional odontodysplasia generally require reinforcement, involving a root canal followed by a restoration to strengthen the tooth's overall structure. The condition is often idiopathic, which is the formal way to say that the cause is unknown.
The Deterioration of Your Dental Enamel
Sometimes the cause might be very obvious (to your dentist anyway). Enamel erosion is when your tooth's protective enamel has deteriorated. Diet can play a considerable role in this process, with sugary and acidic foods and drinks being the worst offenders when coupled with inadequate oral hygiene. Excessive oral hygiene can also erode enamel, and if you're brushing your teeth too hard, you might be literally rubbing your enamel away. What will a dentist do when enamel erosion is thought to be causing your teeth to become brittle?
A Discussion About Your Oral Hygiene Habits
Your dentist will want to have an involved conversation about your oral hygiene habits, helping you to develop the best possible hygiene process for your teeth. Although your lost dental enamel cannot be regrown, the impact of the loss can be minimized. This can include the application of a dental sealant to affected teeth (functioning as a type of artificial enamel). Remineralization of your teeth with a fluoride treatment can also help to strengthen existing enamel. Some changes to your dietary habits may be recommended, too.
Teeth should not be brittle, and it's important to realize that this brittleness will worsen without assistance, eventually leading to loss of tooth structure and even total loss of the tooth. How long since you last had a dental checkup? If it's been longer than you care to remember, it's a very good idea to schedule an appointment to determine the cause of your brittleness. Get in touch with a local dentist to learn more.