Teeth play a crucial role in our lives. Teeth are prone to wearing just like the things that we daily use wear down. Excessive tooth wear is a condition when the tooth surface is lost due to decay. Excessive tooth wear is also caused by injuries. Tooth wear adversely affects the dentin, tooth enamel and tooth nerves. Excessive tooth wear occurs because of three main reasons and the treatment for each of them varies. Here are some ways to treat excessive tooth wear.
Ways to Treat Excessive Tooth Wear
Tooth Wear Due to Attrition
Attrition is the condition when the teeth lose the chewing as well as biting surfaces. It is associated with your diet and habits like grinding of teeth and clenching. People who include corn meal in their primary diet are prone to excessive tooth wear.
One sure shot way to treat excessive tooth wear because of attrition is non-metallic crowns. People who suffer from heavy grinding of teeth during sleep should wear sleep guard that would solve the issue and prevent the teeth from further damage. Acrylic bite plate is a good alternative to night guard.
Bruxism should be checked with the help of hard night guard as it severely damages not only the teeth but also crowns and fillings. Damage caused by bruxism has to be treated by composite white fillings or crowns that would restore your bite, heal tooth sensitivity and enhance overall esthetics of teeth.
Crowns or inlays restore the original size of teeth that were flattened or shortened due to bruxism. It would also restore occlusion between lower teeth and upper teeth. The dentine needs covering to heal sensitivity towards cold foods and hot foods. In fact, crowns improve overall aesthetics of the face.
Tooth Wear Due to Abrasion
Tooth abrasion is the condition when teeth wear down excessively due to friction. Some most common causes of abrasion are scrubbing and heavy and prolonged brushing. Abrasion is also caused when you use harsh toothpaste to brush your teeth.
The best way to treat abrasion-caused tooth wear is filling (preferably in natural tone) over the abraded portion. Gums recede and dentin from the root surfaces gets exposed due to abrasion. Abrasion makes teeth vulnerable to air. In-depth assessment of the patient’s tooth-brushing technique should be carried out and, if necessary, modified. Toothbrush with soft bristles and sometimes electric toothbrush help a great deal. To prevent the root surface from ill effects of air, composite resin fillings should be bonded over it. This would prevent tooth sensitivity.
Tooth Wear Due to Erosion
When acid is the reason of wearing down of tooth, the condition is known as erosion. Tooth erosion due to acid dissolves tooth enamel as well as the dentin. One of the chief reasons is the habit of sucking on lemons to the peel. When you do this, your teeth absorb enough citric acid causing etching on teeth and leading to erosion. Other acidic foods that cause erosion are oranges and grapefruit. Erosion is also caused by some medical conditions such as acid reflux, heartburn, anorexia nervosa, etc. Alcohol consumption increases the chances of erosion.
Erosion can be treated in many ways. When small areas of tooth are eroded, you can visit your dentist for holistic desensitization. If the dentin is exposed over a larger area then it can be filled with tooth-colored material and hence repaired. The filling can also be substituted by non-toxic crown to be fitted on the entire tooth. Crown is more feasible when acid erodes much of tooth structure.
Always go for biocompatible dental filling materials like natural porcelain and avoid metal bridgework and toxic mercury fillings. In addition to this, medical history and dietary habits of the person should be closely analyzed and triggers should be identified. One can use sugar-free gum to increase production of saliva that would neutralize acids causing teeth erosion. In case, tooth pulp gets exposed due to erosion it should be addressed by root canal treatment.
Essentials for Treatment
Identification of Cause/Causes
Identifying the correct cause of excessive tooth wear is as crucial as identifying the correct tooth to pull out. If tooth erosion is actually caused by gastric and it is misdiagnosed as attrition then wearing night guard will be a useless attempt. It would rather cause more damage as it would retain gastric acids on the surface of tooth for longer than usual. Sometimes tooth wear occurs due to more than one reason.
In that case, both the reasons should be customarily identified and treated. If only one of the reasons is addressed, it would not stop the tooth from wearing down. Foods to be avoided in case of erosion include soft drinks including carbonated and diet drinks, fruit juices, yogurt, vinegar and pickle. Sparkling mineral water should also be avoided.