Worn Teeth 2015-06-17T17:46:31+00:00

[title size=”2″]Worn Teeth or Tooth Surface Loss?[/title]

Loss of tooth enamel and dentine for reasons other than tooth decay is an increasing problem. It can result in sensitive teeth, poor looking teeth, chewing difficulties and an increased susceptibility to tooth decay. Reversing damage can sometimes be very difficult but with early detection, particularly in younger people, damage can be minimised or prevented and extensive dental treatment avoided.

As part of our routine check-ups at Rathfarnham Dental Practice we monitor for signs of abrasion, attrition and erosion, the three main types of Tooth Surface Loss. Once the cause or multiple causes are identified, damage can be prevented as follows:

Abrasion (by an abrasive substance)

  • use a soft toothbrush and avoid harsh horizontal scrubbing
  • avoid abrasive toothpastes, e.g whitening toothpastes
  • eliminate habits like nail biting, chewing pencil ends or opening bottles or packaging with your teeth
  • remove face or tongue piercings that come in contact with the teeth

Erosion (dissolved by acids)

  • reduce acidic food and drink consumption – fizzy drinks, fruit juices, alcohol, sports drinks, citrus fruits and acidic savoury foods such as ketchup and vinegar
  • do not brush your teeth immediately after eating, particularly acidic food (wait at least 30 minutes)
  • keep hydrated by drinking water (a dry mouth can make teeth sensitive to acids)
  • seek medical attention for stomach acid reflux disorders and eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia

Attrition (tooth grinding)

  • a mouth guard called a night splint can made by one of our dentists to protect the teeth if you are grinding at night. This is a very common problem and many people are unaware that they do it
  • eliminate habits of clenching during the day
  • reduce stress

If teeth are worn and need to be repaired this can be carried out using composite (white bonded) filling material, veneers or crowns. Sometimes, there can be damage to the nerve of the tooth requiring root canal treatment or in severe cases removal of the tooth.