Stop Teeth From Wearing Down
While it is a completely natural process that happens in every person as they age, teeth wearing down can be exacerbated by a number of factors. Eliminating these exacerbating causes can go a long way to slow down the rate at which teeth erode and keep your mouth healthier longer.
The first symptoms people notice about worn down teeth are that their teeth look worn, have discolored, and just plain look shorter or smaller. This can happen for a number of reasons.
What Causes Worn Down Teeth
Wear and tear on teeth occurs for a number of reasons. The friction of normal chewing and biting causes friction to erode teeth. Many patients suffer from chronic bruxism, grinding the teeth. While normal chewing is necessary for most people to eat, grinding is often caused by stress or anxiety or occurs during sleep, and so is not happening consciously. One method for preventing erosion damage from bruxism is to sleep with a nightguard, similar to a sports mouthguard.
Accidental impacts to the mouth and face and other trauma can cause fractures and chips. When left untreated, these breaks can expose the affected teeth to greater stresses, further eroding the teeth. It is important when playing sports to always wear a mouthguard to minimize the impacts from trauma to the face. It is also important to remember that teeth should not be used as tools. Opening a beer bottle is one’s teeth, for example, may seem cool but will likely result in a painful fracture or chip.
Eating a healthy and informed diet will also help to prevent teeth from wearing too quickly. Foods that are hard, such as popcorn, hard candy, and ice can be hard to bite into, requiring a stronger bite which may cause teeth to break. Food and drink that are too acidic also present a problem. The acids in soda and citrus, for example, can eat away at the enamel on the teeth. Once the enamel is compromised, the softer tissues inside the tooth can become exposed.
Stomach acid is quite caustic and can become a problem if it comes into contact with the teeth too often. Sufferers of acid reflux, GERD, or bulimia will often have severely worn down teeth due to the excess acid in the mouth.
How to Repair Tooth Erosion
Most treatments for worn down teeth are relatively simple. Your dentist will generally begin by taking x-rays and conducting a dental examination. Depending on the severity of the erosion, a number of procedures are available. For mild tooth wear, dental bonding, a process involving coating or reshaping the teeth with a special resin, may be all that is required. In other cases, veneers or dental crowns may be necessary.
If you are concerned about worn down teeth, consult with your dental professional as soon as possible. In cases where damage has been done, leaving it untreated can worsen the problems and make treatments more extensive and expensive. Regular visits to the dentist can help spot the warning signs of serious issues and allow you to take more preventative care before repair is necessary.