Dental Wear: How to Avoid Excessive Tooth Wear
Like every other part of the body, teeth naturally wear with age. Some teeth wear much more quickly due to several factors, causing a myriad of unpleasant symptoms. Read on to learn more about excessive teeth wear and what steps you can take to preserve your chompers for life.
What Causes Excessive Tooth Wear?
Most teeth become excessively worn due to a combination of factors, rather than a single concern. All of the causes for tooth wear, however, are broken out into three separate categories:
- Erosion – This type of wear occurs due to exposure to acidic substances, either dietary or from the stomach. Acid reflux disease or eating and drinking an acidic diet (citrus, soda and sugar) puts your enamel at risk of erosion.
- Abrasion – This wear occurs due to the teeth rubbing against foreign objects. Chewing ice or biting nails causes abrasion.
- Attrition – Teeth-on-teeth friction causes this type of wear. Individuals who grind their teeth or clench their jaws due to stress or other sleeping conditions tend to suffer from excessive tooth wear due to attrition.
Symptoms of Tooth Wear
Regardless of the cause or causes, patients with excessive tooth wear commonly experience a combination of the following symptoms:
- shortened teeth and flattened tooth surfaces
- weakened teeth and tooth chipping
- loose teeth
- tooth loss
- tooth migration
- root canal infections
- restricted mouth opening (trismus)
- temporomandibular joint dysfunction
- jaw muscle tenderness
- tension headaches
Five Ways to Prevent and Treat Tooth Wear
- Dietary Adjustments – Avoid acidic foods and brush your teeth immediately following meals and beverages.
- Acid Reflux Treatment – Seek treatment for indigestion, acid reflux diseases or conditions which cause frequent vomiting to protect your teeth from harmful stomach acid.
- Break Bad Habits – Stop chewing ice, pens and biting your nails.
- Mouth Guards – Worn at night, a guard prevents grinding and clenching teeth.
- Restoration – Modern cosmetic dentistry services allow patients to restore their teeth to their original size and shape.
Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Fotinos
Dr. Christopher Fotinos can help you with your teeth wear concerns. After inspecting a patient’s bite and discussing his or her symptoms, he works with each patient to develop an individual treatment and prevention plan to help restore damaged teeth with cosmetic dentistry, while preventing further wear and tear with mouth guards and lifestyle recommendations. Schedule your appointment today!