Worn teeth are increasingly common these days, especially in older people, yet they can be prevented and treated once the cause is identified.
Some wear to teeth is a natural side effect of aging, with worn teeth becoming smaller and darker in colour. This is mainly an aesthetic problem, unless it starts to affect your bite or contribute to a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) which can lead to headaches, earaches, neck or back pain.
The three forms of accelerated tooth structure loss that results in worn down teeth are:
This is tooth-to-tooth wear on the biting edges of the teeth caused by excessive grinding or clenching.
This is tooth wear through over aggressive brushing and typically affects the sides and necks of the teeth.
This is loss of tooth structure (enamel and dentine) dissolved through acid erosion caused by acidic foods and drinks in our diets, or in patients with conditions like bulimia or acid-reflux.
Some people will have more than one of these factors, sometimes even all three..
Bruxism – a major cause of worn teeth
One of the main factors that can lead to worn down teeth is involuntary tooth grinding or clenching, known as bruxism. Although often brought on by stress, in many cases it is an unconscious action performed during the day and/or whilst asleep. In order to try to prevent daytime or nighttime clenching or grinding, mouth appliances are often suggested to protect the worn teeth and encourage the habit to stop.
Treatment for worn teeth
Clenching and grinding can be linked to a poor bite, irregular teeth or poor dental work. The experienced team at the Windsor Centre for Advanced Dentistry can help to restore your eroded teeth and treat them to prevent further damage – giving you optimum dental health, function and aesthetics.
In addition to customised mouth appliances to improve and realign your bite, treatment offered for worn down teeth includes composite resin bonding, cosmetic contouring, crowns and, in severe cases, orthognathic surgery.