Teeth are naturally strong. A routine cleaning regimen will help to maintain a healthy set of teeth. There are several threats against teeth that brushing will not protect teeth from. The good news is that there are several other strategies which can be used to guard teeth from accidental and normal wear and tear.
Accidental Tooth Wear
No one plans to ship, break or fracture a tooth. Significant injuries require immediate dental work. It is important to contact a dentist right away when emergency trauma has left a tooth damaged. It is important to think about proactive action to help prevent or limit potential damage.
· - Limit biting on hard items (popcorn kernels, ice) especially on teeth with fillings or crowns.
· - Wear mouth guards when playing sports.
- Get damaged teeth restored. The tooth will never be as strong as the original, but a restored tooth is much stronger than the weakened tooth without restorations.
Teeth grinding will wear down teeth
Teeth are designed to bite, chew and grind food. Tooth wear concerns are for those people who do it unconsciously (during sleep). Bruxism (tooth grinding) can wear down the points of molars and cause micro-cracks in enamel. This action leaves the tooth more susceptible to dental caries (tooth decay) and breakage. In additions to tooth wear, grinding will also bring on headaches, muscle pain and injury. If the person is unaware of their grinding, the dentist will see signs of the damage during regular check-ups.
Preventative measures for teeth grinding:
· - Regular dental check-ups to catch a problem in early stages
· - Wear a mouth guard or splint when sleeping to minimize tooth wear
· - Manage the stress and anger that may create tooth grinding and clenching problems
Tooth Wear from Acid and Erosion
Acid levels found inside the mouth are linked to enamel erosion. When the pH is out of balance, teeth are more susceptible to dental carries. The balance will shift when acidic foods and drinks are consumed and/or acidic-bacteria levels rise. Some diseases will also influence the erosion levels of teeth. People who are bulimic, pregnant women with long-term morning sickness, chronic gastritis (linked to alcoholism) or gastro esophageal re-flux disease (GERD).
Medical attention to help treat these diseases is the best course of action to limit the erosion side-affects. Doctors may prescribe medication or provide information regarding dietary changes in order to limit further damage to tooth enamel. It is also important to keep up with dental check-ups so the dentist can keep abreast of the effects the acid problems have on tooth enamel.
Dentists have been known to observe the signs of diseases by the dental side-affects. Dr. Patel will advise patients to make an appointment with their primary physician if oral health problems signal other health concerns.
Call Diablo Pacific Dental Group for more information or to schedule an appointment to stop excess tooth wear in its tracks.