Brittle teeth are teeth that can easily chip, break, or fracture. Most brittle teeth lack sufficient reinforcement from the enamel: the dense mineral that covers and structurally protects the tooth. Habits like teeth grinding, teeth clenching, inadequate brushing, and over brushing can cause weak enamel.
Researchers have linked certain nutritional deficiencies with tooth brittleness. These include a lack of vitamin A and vitamin D. Vitamin D helps the body absorb minerals that contribute to strong enamel. These minerals are calcium and phosphorus. Sugary foods and beverages can weaken the enamel if they are consumed excessively.
Certain diseases can also cause brittle teeth. A notable example is gastroesophageal acid reflux disease (GERD), which can expose the enamel to acid damage. A genetic condition called dentinogenesis imperfecta can also contribute to tooth brittleness. This disease has nothing to do with the enamel, but rather affects the structure of the middle layer of the teeth right from birth.