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.
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
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