Chewing ice has a higher chance of damaging your teeth than other hard foods. Enamel, which is the hardest substance in your body, has crystal rods that can be bridle without the support of the layer underneath. When you chew ice the temperature changes in the crystallized enamel, which causes them to expand. The tension releases when the temperature rises again. This along with the biting force of the jaw can cause microfractures in the teeth over time.
If you have other restorative work such as fillings or crowns, crunching on ice or hard candies can also break your restorative work.
It is rare that we get a warning sign before a tooth break. Most of the time after we notice a large chunk of the tooth has already broken off. It can become sensitive to hot and cold and have sharp edges. A broken tooth needs attention to prevent further problems!
If you bite down on certain food and experience a sharp pain you should schedule an appointment with us. This usually means the crack is expanding slightly under pressure and will likely get worse over time.
We can usually save a cracked tooth even when a piece breaks off -if we take care of it early on. If you wait too long, the tooth may split and need to be removed.
Our doctors at Ah! Dentistry are well trained to test your teeth if you suspect a cracked tooth. We can recommend ways to save your teeth.