Worn teeth is usually an overlooked dental problem because it takes a considerable amount of time, even years, to notice the wearing out of tooth enamel or onset of tooth decay. By that time, the problem is already at an advanced stage and is difficult to correct.
Is Worn Teeth Part of the Body’s Aging Process?
There is a natural wearing down of the teeth as we age, definitely part of the body’s aging process. Dental care practitioners explain that it is fairly common to lose at least one millimeter of tooth enamel by the age of 30 and at least not more than two millimeters by the age of 50.
However, if you lose more than the mentioned length above, then it’s time to analyse why you are wearing down so much teeth enamel and why
What Causes Worn Teeth?
Extreme force caused by the grinding of the upper and lower mandibles usually through time impacts on the wearing away of tooth enamel. This may be caused by missing multiple teeth and when there are many teeth missing, without any proper prosthetic replacements such as dentures, your teeth will get worn down easily and quickly during your day-to-day chewing. In this situation, we would recommend you replace the missing teeth either by implants, bridge or dentures to first restore your functional support and improve your chewing force.
There are other reasons why teeth get worn. We call these factors Attrition, Abrasion , Erosion and missing teeth.
Attrition or “the grinding of teeth” occurs when the upper and lower teeth meet and rub against each other. In the normal day-to-day use of our upper and lower teeth, there will be a certain amount of attrition of teeth enamel. However, there are ways to lessen the impact of such attrition on our teeth and perhaps, protect them from further erosion. These can be discussed with your Dental 266 dentist in an initial consultation.
Abrasion is caused by teeth wear that is caused by outside forces. The most common of these forces are tooth brushing and application of abrasive ingredients, like hard rock salt in some cultures. You can spot your own abrasion lesions near the gum lines and these are usually treated by simple fillings to restore the lost tooth structures and at the same time, you will need to change your brushing habit as well.
Erosion then is loss of the teeth’s structure mainly through acid. Now there are two sources of acid: external and internal.
External sources of acid are ingested food that has high or very high lactic acid content. These include carbonated softdrinks and soda. High acid content from these foods may damage the enamel of your teeth particularly your front teeth and the surface of your back teeth.
Internal sources of acid come from regurgitated acid from your stomach. This is usually caused by patients of gastro acid reflux. Dental 266 will advise you to consult them regarding eating and lifestyle changes that may reduce acid production leading to less erosion of your teeth.
Our Treatments – Bruxism and Occlusal Splints
Bruxism is the scientific term for a certain habit of some people to grind their teeth and clench their jaw. Up to now, scientist are not exactly sure of the precise reason why this happens. But what we’re sure about is it does wear down your teeth.
To prevent this, we recommend Occlusal Splints. This is an appliance inserted at night in between the upper and lower teeth of one who has Bruxism. It prevents night time grinding of teeth, hence leading to less wear and tear of the teeth.
We may also prescribe you with GC Touch Mousse to strengthen your tooth structures. This is a dental ointment which is applied to the teeth, creating a protective cover against tooth decay as well as reducing dental sensitivity.