Dental Tips Blog

Nov
12

Flat Teeth: Three Causes

Posted in TMJ Therpy

When you look in the mirror, do your teeth look flat, sharp, or jagged? In reality, their biting edges should have a nice, smooth contour. Here are three reasons why your enamel may be starting to look flatter over the years:

End-to-End Alignment 

The older we get, our teeth start to shift toward the middle-front portion of our mouth. This can cause upper and lower teeth to bite against each other irregularly. When this happens, your healthy tooth enamel actually wears itself down…causing flat biting edges.

Getting braces can help to fine-tune your bite and give you more time out of your smile, rather than fast-forward you into needing extensive dental work.

Bruxism / Grinding 

A stressful lifestyle can give you headaches, but you might be deferring some of that stress to your teeth. When you bite down firmly because of muscle tension, project due dates, or bad traffic, it wears your bite down quicker than it should. This can make your smile look like it’s decades older than it really is.

Your dentist may recommend anything from wearing a splint, to muscle relaxers. Usually, the first step is to consciously train yourself to not clench your teeth. It can take a bit of practice!

Misaligned Jaws 

Your upper and lower jaws should fit together the right way, allowing your entire mouth to function efficiently day after day. Irregular jaw shape, size, or alignment can alter the occlusion (biting relationship) of all your teeth. In addition to seeing worn enamel, you might also experience symptoms of TMJ disorder.

Talk to your dentist today to find out how you can prevent future damage to your smile.

Posted on behalf of:
Alluvial Dental Center
1875 E Alluvial Ave
Fresno, CA 93720
559-325-0700

Oct
28

3 Reasons Why Your Teeth Look Worn and Flat

You may have noticed your teeth looking more and more worn down as time has gone by. Is this natural? How can you prevent it? Let’s discuss three possible factors that could be wearing down your smile.

Grinding and Clenching

The habit of grinding and clenching (whether you are aware of it or it happens in your sleep) not only puts stress on your jaw muscles, but it also can wear down your teeth. The grinding action rubs away enamel and dentin over time, causing teeth to lose their original height. Grinding and clenching can loosen crowns, and alter the way existing fillings fit in your teeth. This creates a new uneven surface between teeth and makes them prone to more wear.

Using Your Teeth As Tools

People might have a habit of chewing on pens and pencils, biting their nails, or holding hairpins in their mouth. These are classic examples of abrasion in which teeth are worn down from constant contact with another hard surface.

Restorations

Some crown or filling material may be harder than your teeth themselves. The strong material used to reinforce one tooth can eventually wear down a tooth the meets from the opposite side when you bite down. Some filling materials are too soft and will wear away quickly, leaving an uneven surface for the opposing tooth to be worn down by. By evenly reinforcing both opposing teeth with materials of equal strength, the wear process can be reversed.

If you are unhappy with the way your smile is being worn down, talk to your dentist about how to help you elevate your smile to a new level.

Posted on behalf of:
Linda King, DDS MAGD
4146 Georgia 42
Locust Grove, GA 30248
(770) 898-8872

Jul
24

Why Do I Have Worn and Chipped Teeth?

As you’ve gotten older, have you noticed your teeth starting to wear down? Perhaps they have flat edges or chips along the biting surfaces. You may even start to notice fillings breaking or crowns wearing out before they should. What causes this, and what can you do to stop it?

Worn teeth can come from a couple of different causes:

Clenching and Grinding (Bruxism)

Bruxism is usually caused by stress. The chronic clenching and grinding may happen when you sleep, during your commute to work, or even while you are sitting at your desk. Most of us do it without even realizing that we are. Symptoms may include headaches and muscle pain. Since eliminating stress from our lifestyles isn’t always possible, we recommend wearing a protective bite splint. This protective splint prevents the teeth from forcefully wearing against one another, and the added flexion that comes from that force. As a result, you eliminate the cause of wear and prevent muscle pain and tension. Most people usually see results within just a day or two of use.

Irregular Bite Relationships

Misaligned teeth that do not bite together properly will place force on tooth surfaces that were not designed to withstand them. When repeated day after day, those teeth begin to wear in abnormal patterns. The best way to proactively address this is to consider realigning the teeth through orthodontic therapy.

Sometimes our teeth shift out of place into an abnormal bite after a neighboring tooth has been extracted. Replacing missing teeth as quickly as possible will prevent any other teeth from drifting out of place, resulting in the same problem.

Posted on behalf of:
Springfield Lorton Dental Group
5419-C Backlick Rd
Springfield, VA 22151
(703) 256-8554

Apr
8

3 Types of Tooth Wear and What They Mean

If you thought tooth wear only happened when you had a bad clenching habit, it’s time to think again! There are several types of tooth wear that can be visible inside of your mouth, and each of them means something different to your dentist.

Divots in the Cusps of Back Teeth

Have you ever battled chronic heartburn or acid reflux disease? Your dentist can tell if you have! People with acid reflux disease typically have small, shallow divots on the very tips of the cusps of back teeth. This symptom is a classic sign of a history of unmanaged acid reflux. If you didn’t know that you had acid reflux and your dentist finds one of these areas, it’s important to seek care from your primary care physician. 

Abfractions Along the Gumlines of the Teeth

Are there sharp, pointed areas of wear along the gumlines of your teeth? You could be grinding and clenching them too much. This severe pressure causes the tooth to flex along the gumlines, slowly chipping away thin layers of enamel. Your dentist may recommend a bite guard along with patching the areas with a composite restoration to prevent continued damage. 

Smooth Wear with Gum Recession

If you’re brushing your teeth too aggressively or using a medium to hard bristled toothbrush, you could actually be wearing away your tooth enamel. Not only that, but the excessive pressure also causes irreversible gum recession, exposing the roots of your teeth. Always use a soft bristled brush with very gentle pressure to prevent tissue damage.

There are many other types of tooth wear in addition to these! If your teeth don’t look whole like they used to, ask your dentist why.

Posted on behalf of:
Carolina Comfort Dental
5511 Raeford Rd #255
Fayetteville, NC 28304
(910) 485-0023

Dec
31

What Causes Flat, Worn Teeth?

Look in the mirror. What does your smile look like? Are your teeth naturally smooth or rounded, or are they starting to appear flat, worn, and shorter than normal? If it’s the latter, you need to know what causes teeth to do this so you can prevent it from getting worse.

Grinding and Bruxism

Stress and subconscious habits that cause grinding and clenching will make teeth work harder than they ought to. Even though enamel is very strong, excessive biting and grinding will make them wear each other down. Not only does this hurt your teeth, it also creates problems like TMJ disorders, headaches, and damaged restorations. 

Irregular Biting Patterns

Improperly aligned teeth will wear down at a much quicker rate than teeth that bite together correctly. You might notice this if the front teeth bite end-to-end against one another. The result is flat, short front teeth. Investing in orthodontic therapy can help you avoid and prevent this from happening before it even starts. 

Weak or Decayed Teeth

Teeth that have cavities, broken enamel, or failing restorations will wear down quicker than healthy teeth. Even small areas of compromised enamel can easily chip away or fracture during normal use. If you’ve broken a piece of tooth off during a meal, it’s nothing to overlook. Have your dentist check it right away!

If allowed to advance, flattened teeth can interfere with your natural biting habits. This in turn creates strain to the TMJ and can even destroy the existing restorations in your mouth. Watch for worn teeth early on. The sooner you have your dentist correct the cause, the healthier your smile will be for years to come.

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618

Dec
29

When Tooth Wear Becomes a Problem

Take a look at your teeth. Are the edges of your front teeth smooth and contoured, or are they flattened and sharp? If your answer is the latter, then it’s time to take a look at advanced tooth wear.

Wear can take place due to natural biting patterns, or from habits such as grinding and clenching. If your teeth hit end-to-end, natural chewing forces will cause them to wear down quicker than if you had a healthy biting relationship. Stress that causes clenching or grinding will make enamel wear against itself, causing additional issues. Having a bite splint made can help prevent this from becoming a problem if you’re experiencing symptoms such as headaches, muscle pain, or TMJ disorders.

You might begin noticing your teeth chipping away or even breaking. Since enamel is extremely hard, it works against the other teeth! Other restorations such as fillings or crowns may also begin to chip, wear through, or fall out. In most cases, people with advanced wear or grinding habits will have to replace their restorations more frequently.

Taking a proactive approach to your tooth wear can save your smile and your pocketbook. During every exam, your dentist checks your occlusion (bite) and screens for evidence of wear. Early diagnosis of wear can give you the upper hand. Correcting the problem with the use of a bite guard or through orthodontic therapy will prevent complications from happening before they even start.

Our bites normally change over time, due to age and the drifting of our teeth. If you’re not already seeing a dentist regularly, it’s time to schedule a preventive visit today!

Posted on behalf of:
Toothmasters
139 Aliant Pkwy
Alexander City, AL 35010
(256) 329-8401

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