As you age, it’s completely natural for your tooth enamel to slowly wear down. Similar to age spots on the face, your teeth can also develop spotting and stains as you mature. At the age of 30, the average adult will have lost about a millimeter from their front teeth due to the friction caused just by everyday chewing. Unfortunately, an increasing number of older adults are experiencing excessive wear beyond what’s considered normal. This can lead to a number of problems, tooth sensitivity to an unattractive smile.
If you suspect you may be suffering from worn teeth, it’s best to address this problem sooner rather than later. The doctors at Gentle Dental Family Care are experts at restoring and repairing the teeth. Here’s a closer look at worn teeth, common causes, how you can prevent wear, and treatment options your Gentle Dental Family Care dentist may recommend.
Common Causes of Excessive Tooth Wear
- Acidic Foods and Beverages: When foods with high acidity are consumed in excess amounts or just over the years your enamel becomes weaker. Common acidic foods include soda, orange juice, processed foods, tomato sauce/ketchup, and fatty dairy like cheese and whole milk.
- Grinding and Clenching: Many people tend to grind or clench their teeth when they are anxious or stressed without even being aware of it. The friction of grinding the teeth together can cause the wear down of enamel. Clenching can even lead to micro cracks in the tooth enamel over time.
- Physical Abrasion: Just like how sandpaper wears away at wood, chewing on hard items like fingernails and pen caps can slowly take away the enamel on your teeth. Brushing with an overly stiff or tough brush can also cause abrasions.
Problems Caused By Worn Teeth
- Sensitivity: sharp pain in the teeth when eating something either extremely cold or extremely hot.
- Yellow Teeth: As your enamel wears away and becomes thinner, the dentin (layer beneath the white layer of your teeth) starts showing through, causing a yellow appearance.
- Difficulty Biting and Chewing: Bite misalignment that results from excessive tooth wear can also make it harder to bite into items like apples and carrots. Chewing can become a problem when teeth no longer fit together as they should.
- Headaches and Jaw Aches: When your teeth are badly worn down, they don’t align properly. This misalignment in your bite can cause strain in your jaw which can translate to headaches.
Treatment Options for Wear on the Teeth
- Dental Bonding: Dental bonding is a procedure in which a tooth-colored composite material is applied to the edge of your teeth. The composite will cover the worn surfaces, improving the appearance of your teeth and also addressing any bite alignment and sensitivity issues you may be experiencing. Dental bonding is usually the best option for minor to moderate enamel erosion in isolated spots.
- Crowns: If certain teeth are very badly worn on several surfaces, your dentist may recommend covering those teeth with crowns. A crown is typically made from porcelain or composite resin. It covers the entire tooth, helping to stop any chips or cracks from spreading while protecting the tooth from additional enamel damage.
Your Dental Health
When it comes to your health, both that of your mouth and your overall well-being, trust in the dentists at Gentle Dental Family Care. Your dentist will be able to identify any symptoms and send you to the right professionals for further care. Gentle Dental Family Care is the best dental practice in the Kew Gardens, Queens NY 11415 area and we are open on Sundays as well as late evenings. We’ve performed hundreds of dental implants, bridges, and all-on-four procedures. We are the best dental implant dentists in Queens. For a teeth cleaning or exam, we recommend coming into the office or booking an appointment here with one of our talented dental professionals. All new patients may also take advantage of our $99 Cleaning Special that includes an exam and x-rays. To set up your appointment give us a call at (718) 849-9797. We also welcome walk-ins, to accommodate patients with a busy schedule. We hope to see you soon!