Teeth are covered by a protective hard layer known as enamel. enamel provides protection from hot and cold food and drinks. The enamel can be worn down and this is diagnosed as worn teeth.
Worn teeth are very common, particularly in older people. Worn teeth are the result of three distinct factors, often in combination.
It is important to first determine the main cause of your teeth wear. Excessive attrition may be related to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
Treatments for TMD related tooth wear may involve behavioral therapy, night splint use and myotherapy to ease muscle tension. Abrasion related wear needs to be identified as early as possible. Changing to a soft toothbrush and modifying brushing techniques can reduce further dentine wear.
For patients who consume a large quantity of acidic food and drinks, a dietary modification will be beneficial. Medical attention should be sought if you suspect acid reflux is at play.
Tooth wear only worsens over time particularly if the underlying cause is not diagnosed or treated. More complicated dental work may be required when extreme types of dental wear occur. They can require several root canal procedures and crowns or bridges to restore missing tooth volume. It’s much easier to recognise and avoid tooth wear than to treat it when it’s left too long.