The Etiologies of Wear – Cary, NC
Common Causes of Dental Damage
Teeth are designed to last a lifetime. But just like every other part of your body, they age, and numerous factors can speed up or slow down the aging process. Stress and a poor diet are just a couple common causes of premature dental wear. On this page, we’ll talk more about the types of wear that teeth may suffer from.
Attrition is the type of dental wear that results from tooth-to-tooth contact. Bruxism, habitual teeth grinding and clenching that often occurs at night, is often to blame for attrition. Bruxism can have a range of contributing factors, including a stressful lifestyle, misaligned teeth, TMJ dysfunction, and more. Attrition can be a challenge to treat, so prevention is incredibly important. If you grind and clench your teeth, you might need to wear a mouthguard at night to protect your smile.
Tooth enamel is extremely hard, but it is susceptible to erosion. Erosion is defined as the irreversible loss of hard dental tissue from acids, without the involvement of bacteria. There are four main causes of erosion:
- Gastric reflux
- The frequent vomiting that is associated with bulimia
- Overconsumption of carbonated beverages
- Overconsumption of citrus fruits
Lifestyle adjustments, as well as using fluoride-containing dental products, can play a big role in slowing down dental erosion.
Abrasion is the result of mechanical damage from outside substances. Poor dietary choices are a common cause of abrasion. For example, indulging in too many course or tough foods may wear down your teeth. Abrasion can also be the result of applying too much pressure when you brush your teeth. Applying advice from your dentist about oral hygiene techniques and smart food choices can do much to slow down or even stop abrasion.
Abfraction is the result of pressure and stress on the teeth. It occurs in the cervical part of the teeth (the middle portion of teeth, between the roots and crowns) and can look similar to damage caused by other forms of tooth wear. Grinding and clenching, as well as regular biting and chewing, can lead to abfraction.
How Can I Prevent Tooth Decay?
Tooth wear is a serious problem. Fortunately, both it and tooth decay are
largely preventable if you
stick to good habits, such as:
- Regularly visiting your dentist so they can diagnose and treat problems as early as possible
- Eating a balanced diet that is relatively low in acidic and hard substances
- Taking time to unwind from the stresses of life
- Protecting your teeth with a nighttime mouthguard if recommended by your dentist
- Using proper oral hygiene techniques