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I visited my mother this weekend and saw that one of her upper front teeth was broken off in almost its entirety . She said it broke while eating an apple.
It did not have a filling in it, and she was at the dentist about a year ago for a check-up.
Is it possible that almost an entire tooth could break off from eating something?
Or should I be suspicious that she may have fallen? She did not seem to have any bruises on her face or the immediate area.
The last time I saw here was over a month ago, and her teeth seemed fine then. She hasn't gone to the dentist yet about this.
Thanks.

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It would make sense to me that wear-and-tear and, for all I know, calcium loss issues as well would make teeth more fragile as we get older. But I thought I'd take the opportunity to pass on what the visiting dentist told me about my 90 year old, which was not to be too hesitant or dainty about it when I was cleaning her teeth. I'd always been anxious that I'd knock them out if I got too vigorous and she didn't have many to spare; but he demonstrated, using plenty of elbow grease, that the roots were much sturdier than I feared and that it was more important to make sure that they got properly scrubbed. So if a tooth is sound in itself, get busy. If it's chipped or cracking, you could pop some anti-sensitivity toothpaste onto your little finger tip and rub it in - that was the other trick. The paste blocks the nerve channels and stops the tooth being so sensitive to hot and cold, apparently.
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Ok a funny, or not so funny tooth story. One morning mom's hubby L, was sitting at the breakfast table and all of the sudden a look of complete surprise on his face. He tries to keep these surprises minimum as my mom with AD tends to overreact. After taking mom to day care, L told me he had broken a tooth. Needless to say I got on the phone with the dentist immediately and they had a slot available. Rush L to the dentist, when he comes out of the exam room tells me it was a tooth from his bridge! Here I was concerned about pain L may experience. Yes, I was a bit embarassed, but that darn L! He did not realize until in the dentist chair that this was a fake tooth! LOL! But the sad part he was not aware, and did a very good job of covering his mistake. I think we are in the early phases of dementia for him now as well.
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I would think the tooth must have been dead already or it would be hurting. A tooth with a viable nerve that gets broken off too short hurts, doesn't it?
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I can hardly believe it! Ten minutes before I read this page a top tooth next to a front tooth broke! This is the third time this has happened in a year! I get my teeth cleaned every three months because I'm diabetic and take a lot of pills every day (for all kinds of health issues) which causes rapid plaque build up.
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An apple can be cut in thin slices so biting into it and the pressure on the teeth is lessened. I've been eating apples this way since I was 12 and had braces. With braces on your teeth you cannot bite into an apple, carrots or corn on the cob as the downward pressure can break/snap the wires on the teeth. Just a different way of thinking about eating food. Hope this helps. Sorry your mother broke a front tooth which is never good.
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I just heard on The Doctors that weak bones also applies to teeth. I'm no expert and although it was surprising to me, it made sense. I've also heard that apples are a challenge, because they can be so hard/crisp! They are very, very healthy and we should eat them... but how when they can be a challenge?

I learned a neat trick.

Cut up the apple in slices (I use one of those apple slicers that gets the core out, but it's hard and takes some muscles to push down on it, which will make me stronger, but might be easier to just use a small knife).

Pop the sliced apple in the microwave for 30 - 40 seconds. Then sprinkle with cinnamon. Yum, warm, sweet treat.

Great, nutritious, soft food, no added sugar or other gunk from manufacturers, and if you want to be totally nuts... use an organic apple!

Also, I've personally had tooth issues right after seeing a dentist. I guess that happens. Hopefully not too often.
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Oh yes! You don't even have to be old to break teeth off from eating something.

However, I suppose an older person's teeth would be more brittle. I would suggest taking her to the dentist since it's been a year already. They'll take care of her. I'm not sure how much a tooth extraction costs though. Her insurance should cover it if she's under medicare already.
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Yes, elder's teeth do break more easily. The teeth are older, so more worn. It seems all the bad things that can happen to people happen more easily with seniors because tissues are older and the body's repair mechanisms are not so good. This does not mean that your mother didn't fall, but she may have bit down on something hard and broken a tooth.

This reminds me of when I was cleaning my parents' bathroom a while back. I found a broken tooth in the medicine cabinet. No one would 'fess up to it. I guess because they didn't want to go to the dentist.
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