Do you have worn teeth? At Golden Square Dental, we have the skills and knowledge to repair your worn, damaged teeth and restore the beauty of your smile.
Worn teeth (also known as tooth wear) are not caused by decay or an injury. Instead the condition is often categorized as pathologic or physiologic. As people age, the teeth suffers from the effects of ageing, just like any other parts of our body such as the skin, bones, and brain.
Some wear and tear is considered normal. After the age of thirty, the teeth can lose about one millimetre of length, which can increase to two millimetres when you reach fifty years old and beyond.
However, if you have a serious tooth wear problem, this can cause problems such as difficulty in chewing, unsightly tooth appearance, and tooth sensitivity (if the wear exposes the nerve).
Three Categories of Tooth Wear
There are three different categories or causes of tooth wear:
- Attrition (grinding or clenching of teeth)
- Abrasion (external forces on teeth
- Erosion (acid damage of teeth)
Attrition or “wear” is the gradual loss of tooth enamel caused by upper and lower teeth that rub against each other. The contact of teeth from the upper and lower jaws grinds down the tooth surfaces. As a result, the front teeth become shorter and the back teeth become flatter. Extreme cases of attrition are commonly caused by bruxism (teeth grinding).
If you suffer from bruxism, treatment may include wearing a custom nightguard if the wear is minimal. For extensive wear, the dentist may recommend procedures that restore the height and form of the teeth as well as re-establish a balanced bite.
Abrasion results from external forces or friction. This occurs when you brush your teeth too hard in sweeping and horizontal directions. Using a toothbrush with hard bristles aggravates the situation. The result can be seen on the outer surfaces of your back teeth.
Aside from hard brushing, abrasion is also caused by obsessive chewing on things such as pens or pencils, fingernail biting, and oral piercing. Treatment for abrasion usually includes tooth filling or dental bonding.
The chemical wearing away of tooth enamel is called dental erosion, which is commonly caused by acids (dietary and gastric).
Foods and beverages high in acid content such as sodas and acidic juice drinks are the primary culprit in dental erosion. If a person suffers from Bulimia, the teeth are exposed to strong stomach acids; thus, the back surfaces of the upper front teeth become extremely worn down.
If the erosion is caused by Bulimia, your dentist may refer you to a specialist. However, if soda drinking causes the problem, your dentist will educate you about the harmful effects of acidic foods and drinks. Your dentist will also recommend procedures that cover the exposed dentine and restore the normal size and shape of your teeth.
Protect Your Tooth Enamel
Here are some dental care tips to help protect your enamel from tooth wear:
- Reduce your consumption of acidic drinks, citrus fruits and juices.
- Rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking something acidic.
- Use a straw when drinking acidic beverages so the liquid will bypass the teeth.
- Cancel out acids by drinking a glass of milk or chewing a piece of cheese after meals.
- Chew sugar-free gum to lower the amount of acid in your mouth.
- If you have dry mouth, drink more water during the day.
- Be gentle to your teeth. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and avoid vigorous brushing.
- If you’ve taken acidic foods or drinks, wait at least one hour to brush your teeth.
- If you suffer from bulimia, alcoholism, or GERD, seek professional treatment as soon as possible.
Restore Your Worn Teeth at Golden Square Dental
At Golden Square Dental, our expert dentists are knowledgeable in the treatment and correction of worn teeth. If you suffer from tooth wear, visit our clinic as soon as possible. We use advanced techniques to fix and treat any dental problems you may have.