2 weeks ago
Worn teeth and treatments
With ageing comes not just the white streaks in your hair and wrinkles on your skin, but also worn teeth—teeth that looks smaller and darker in colour. This is primarily an aesthetic problem for most and isn’t a cause for too much concern because it usually doesn’t cause pain and discomfort. In serious cases however, worn teeth can affect your bite or even contribute to a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD can cause earaches, headaches, back pain, or neck pain.
There are three forms of accelerated tooth structure loss resulting in worn teeth: attrition, abrasion, and erosion. Attrition is tooth-to-tooth wearing on the biting edges of the teeth. It’s caused by excessive grinding or clenching of teeth. Abrasion is tooth wearing due to aggressive brushing of teeth. It particularly affects the sides and necks of the teeth. Erosion is the loss of tooth structure—both the dentine and enamel
The enamel, which is the thin outer covering of your teeth, acts as a tough shell that protects your teeth from daily use including biting, chewing, and grinding. The enamel is also responsible for insulating teeth from potentially harmful substances and temperatures. It may be tough, but that doesn’t mean it’s indestructible. Enamel can also chip and crack and break down over time. Enamel that breaks down is called enamel erosion. Unlike broken bones that the human body itself can repair, once a tooth chips, cracks, or breaks, the body cannot repair it and the damage is there permanently. Erosion occurs when acids wear away the enamel on the teeth. It can be caused by the following:
This condition is also seen in patients afflicted with bulimia, an eating disorder characterised by binge eating and vomiting. Vomit contains acids and frequent vomiting erodes teeth enamel which can also lead to cavities especially if one doesn’t practice proper dental and oral hygiene.
One major factor that can lead to worn teeth is involuntary teeth grinding or clenching, also known as bruxism. It is an unconscious action that occurs while asleep and/or during the day. In most cases, it is caused by stress. To encourage this habit to stop, dentists recommend wearing mouth appliances like mouth guards especially made to prevent bruxism. Mouth appliances help protect worn teeth.
If your worn teeth are affecting your bite and causing you discomfort, consult your Dentist at Oatlands Dental Lounge. Our experienced Dentists can help restore your worn teeth and fix them to prevent further damage. We make it possible for you to retain optimal dental health, function, and aesthetics. We offer a variety of excellent options to treat your worn teeth including customised mouth appliances, conservative composite resin bonding, and other restorative techniques.