I have had several teeth break over the last few years. Why does that keep happening?
Teeth break for several reasons. Finding out why is important so it can prevent more serious and costly problems.
Teeth are meant to touch at even amounts of force going down the long axis of the tooth around the upper and lower arch. A tooth that is contacting the opposing teeth with force in the wrong place can cause a broken tooth. If there are any constant lateral (sideways) forces on teeth, those areas get weak over time and crack.
Teeth that have excessive forces through grinding or clenching can also become weak and break. People who grind or clench usually do so at such high forces that over time, it creates small fractures in the teeth, which weaken the tooth structure. Combine that weakness with teeth that have large, old fillings and the chances of breaking are even higher.
Also, a tooth with a root canal will fracture more easily if it is not covered by a crown. The tooth becomes brittle over time, but will last significantly longer with a protective crown.
Going to see your dentist regularly can help catch conditions before they become worse. Getting a protective crown or bite guard before something breaks can save money and possible emergencies.