What Can Cause a Tooth to Become Brittle?

Having a brittle tooth is no laughing matter. According to Columbia Family Dental‘s Dr. Mike Rostami, an emergency dentist in Columbia, MD, brittle teeth can lead to all types of painful problems, and they are very likely to crack, break, chip, or fracture.

Brittle teeth can be caused by a number of things. From a genetic disposition in which soft enamel runs in the family to certain prescription medications to simply eating and drinking the wrong things, people with brittle teeth should never feel like there is no hope. Some people may even be bringing the problem onto themselves by brushing their teeth too many times each day or constantly eating hot and cold foods in fast succession.

Although many people think that there is little they can do to prevent brittle teeth, Dr. Rostami says that is far from the truth. A number of medications and products are available on the open market for people who suffer from brittle teeth. Specifically, Dr. Rostami says that people who have a genetic disposition to brittle teeth should look into buying fluoridated toothpastes, which have been proven to strengthen the enamel of the teeth over time.

If brushing with fluoridated toothpaste alone is not enough, then Dr. Rostami recommends asking the dentist for a custom-fitted tray that can be filled with fluoridated toothpaste and set in the mouth for a 20 minutes a day. This basic treatment allows the fluoride to get into the teeth and ultimately presents people with stronger, healthier smiles. Especially for those with a family history of cavities, this can both decrease the chances of brittle teeth and decrease the chances of additional decay or bacteria growth inside the mouth.

The quickest and easiest way that people can try to get rid of this type of problem is to stop eating hot foods with cold drinks, or vice versa. Dr. Rostami says that eating hot soups with cold drinks can cause a rapid expansion and contraction of the teeth, which is part of what causes craze lines.

Other food-related fixes that people with brittle teeth may want to look into are avoiding very acidic or sugary foods. As emergency dentist, Dr. Rostami has seen firsthand what ultra-sugary drinks can do to people’s teeth. He says that Arizona Iced Tea is among the worst offenders when it comes to these types of drinks. He goes on to explain there was a study done a few years back that showed that sports drinks and iced teas, specifically Arizona Iced Tea, were the two worst things that people with brittle teeth could drink.

Additionally, Dr. Rostami recommends avoiding regular Coca Cola because it has so much acid and sugar. For people who simply cannot go a day without soda, Dr. Rostami offers up the suggestion to try a Diet Coke instead. He says that as a basic rule of thumb, sugary drinks and foods should be consumed in one sitting, rather than nibbled or sipped on all day. This lessens the amount of time that the sugary substance is sitting on the teeth, and decreases the chances that a person will get cavities and associated problems as a result.

*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.

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