Dental Tips Blog

Dec
30

Causes of Tooth Wear and How to Fix Them

Are your teeth beginning to wear down? Do you know what’s causing it or what you can do to stop it? Here are 3 of the most common causes of tooth wear: 

Malocclusion

Your teeth are designed to bite down a certain way. Crooked or misaligned teeth bite against the opposite teeth in a manner that goes against their natural design. Instead of lasting for years, these teeth wear down prematurely due to abnormal pressures placed on them. Investing in orthodontic realignment of your teeth not only enhances the appearance of your smile, it also keeps your teeth stronger, longer. 

Grinding and Clenching

Excessive clenching and grinding of your teeth against one another can cause them to wear each other away. Even though tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, it can still wear itself away. Clenching or bruxism can severely age your teeth as well as cause restorations to break apart. Wearing a bite splint or night guard is insurance for you mouth – preventing accelerated wear, damage to fillings, and reducing the strain on your TMJ. 

Acid Erosion

Did you know that if you have acid reflux disease, you could experience accelerated tooth wear? People living with GERD often have classic signs of enamel erosion or wear on the cusps of their back teeth. Even if you think you can handle regular heartburn with over the counter medication, you may need to talk to your doctor for more comprehensive prevention.

Ask your dentist to perform a bite and wear assessment at your next dental check-up. Catching it in the earliest phases can save you from out of pocket dental costs later on!

Posted on behalf of:
Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
1295 Hembree Rd B202
Roswell, GA 30076
(770) 475-6767

Nov
28

Bite Disorders Explained

Posted in TMJ Therpy

In dentistry, the alignment or relation of the upper and lower teeth when a person bites down is called occlusion, or more commonly, “bite”. Malocclusion, or misalignment of the upper and lower dental arches results in a “bad bite” and when a bad bite negatively affects a person’s oral and overall health, a bite disorder is present.

An improperly functioning bite puts strain on a person’s jaw bones and facial muscles and causes problems with chewing, talking, and swallowing. A bad bite can contribute to a host of problems, including: receding gums; teeth grinding/clenching; broken teeth; tooth erosion; maxillofacial pain; and sleep apnea.

Causes

Bite disorders are caused by: deviations in tooth development; ill-fitting dental prostheses; an underdeveloped jaw; injury; or dysfunctions of the TMJ (temporomandibular jaw) joints. They can also develop as a result of habits such as thumb-sucking and tongue thrusting which put constant pressure on the teeth causing them to shift.

Types of bite disorders

1)      Crossbite

Teeth in the lower dental arch tilt inward or outward more than the corresponding teeth in the upper dental arch.

2)      Overbite

The upper teeth overlap or protrude over the lower teeth.

3)      Underbite

The lower teeth overlap or protrude over the upper teeth.

4)      Openbite

The upper and lower teeth do not quite come together when the person bites down leaving a space between the dental arches.

Treatment

Bite disorders are treated by dentists using a mixture of bite occlusion dentistry and TMJ therapy. Tooth reshaping, orthodontic treatment (e.g. braces), dental prostheses, and tooth extractions may be used to correct the patient’s bite, while bite splints/mouth guards are used to treat malocclusion-related teeth clenching and sleep apnea. Jaw surgery may also be required to fix bad bites and reduce maxillofacial pain.

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