It’s no secret that the ticket to a healthy smile is consistent oral hygiene. As long as you’re brushing and flossing at least twice a day and visiting your general dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and exam, you’re much more likely to benefit from good oral health. Human teeth are incredibly strong and durable –– and if we take proper care of them –– our teeth can last us a lifetime. Tooth wear is normal as we age, which means we’ll need to be even more vigilant about how we care for our teeth.
That being said, even patients with the best oral hygiene habits can be susceptible to wearing down teeth faster than we’d expect. Grinding your teeth, acidic diets, and even gum recession can damage your teeth and lead to bigger oral health problems. Today we’ll be discussing abnormal tooth wear and how to prevent it.
Increased tooth wear can lead to dental problems and even tooth loss. Yikes! There are a few factors that can increase the rate at which your teeth begin to wear more quickly. But fortunately, catching these habits or factors early can drastically help in curbing any long-term damage.
The habitual clenching or grinding of the teeth, otherwise known as bruxism, usually happens during sleep. Patients who suffer from bruxism often don’t even realize it. Bruxism can be caused by stress or by certain sleep disorders and can cause the teeth to become damaged.
One of the most common symptoms of bruxism is waking up with a headache or jaw pain in the morning. But bruxism can also cause tooth sensitivity and worn enamel, which can make your teeth more susceptible to tooth decay, cracks, and decay.
Luckily, bruxism symptoms can be easily treated by wearing a night guard to bed. The night guard will prevent the teeth from clenching and grinding against one another, protecting them from damage and wear.
You might associate bad habits like nail-biting, chewing on pens and pencils, or using teeth to open packages to kids. But you’d be surprised by how many adults practice these bad habits without even realizing it.
Since these habits can cause damage to the enamel of the teeth, they increase the likelihood of developing tooth decay, dental cavities and other oral health issues. They can be hard to break. Instead of crunching on ice or chewing your nails while you think, opt for chewing sugar-free gum.
We often hear about the dangers of plaque on teeth, but acid can be just as damaging. Acid can eat through your teeth’s enamel, which exposes the softer insides of your teeth and creates bigger cavities for bacteria to hide and grow. Constantly exposing your tooth enamel to acids can wear the enamel away and accelerate tooth wear.
Citrus fruits, pickles, tomatoes, wine, and even soda are highly acidic foods. We recommend eating and drinking acidic foods and beverages sparingly –– especially if you’re prone to dental decay and sensitivity –– and brushing your teeth after especially acidic meals or drinks.
When the gums begin to recede, this can result in the loss of tooth enamel. This is known as abfraction, which we can easily prevent by practicing good oral health habits. Gum recession also increases your risk of gingivitis, which can cause infections in the teeth or the eventual loss of the teeth.
As with most oral health issues, the best way to prevent abnormal wear and tear is to practice good, consistent dental hygiene habits. Brush and floss at least twice a day, and be sure to see your general dentist at least every six months for cleanings and exams.
Here at Endodontic Specialists, we know how important it is for patients to be empowered to care for their teeth and prevent issues down the road. But sometimes you need a specialist. Our team here at Endodontic Specialists is ready to help relieve your pain, save your natural teeth, and restore your smile. Contact us today to schedule your evaluation!