Some tooth wear is natural as you get older. Teeth can however wear at a faster rate and this can be problematic. It can affect the appearance of your teeth but can also affect their health if the wear goes into to dentine and can even cause pain if it starts to encroach on the nerves of teeth.
There are a few main causes of excessive tooth wear:
- forces placed when eating/grinding
Some people have habits that cause wear. Things like grinding your teeth or using teeth for actions they weren't designed for e.g. opening hair grips.
- aggressive tooth brushing
Although brushing is essential for a healthy mouth, harder is not better when it comes to cleaning teeth. Brushing too hard can cause gum recession and in turn wear the roots of the teeth down.
- dietary acids
Acidic foods and drinks are common but having too many and too often can cause teeth to dissolve through erosion.
- intrinsic acids due to problems like reflux
Certain conditions that cause stomach acid to enter the mouth, such as reflux or bulimia nervosa can cause the teeth to dissolve in the same ways as acids from food and drinks. Treating the underlying health condition is key to prevention.
The most important aspect of any treatment of tooth wear is removing the cause to prevent it worsening. Treatments of tooth wear depends upon the amount of tooth structure lost. If you have any concerns please book an appointment to discuss with your dentist.