Wear And Tear On Your Teeth

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014, 8:56 pm

Even our teeth experience the wear and tear of daily life. Teeth are tough but accidental injuries, grinding and bad habits can take their toll. Here are some of the biggest threats to teeth.

Bruxism (Grinding)

Our teeth are designed to chew and grind our food but many of us grind our teeth without knowing it. The constant grinding and clenching can damage chewing surfaces and in some cases, even wear down the teeth themselves. Bruxism is what dentist call this grinding. Many times it occurs during sleep and you never realize it is happening until a bed partner complains about the grinding noises or your dentist notices the damage to your teeth.

Tooth grinding can also cause headaches, muscle spasms and injury to the jaw joint. Your dentist can make a protective splint that will keep the grinding from doing further damage to your teeth and jaw joint. Tooth grinding has been linked to stress in some cases, and some believe that it may also be a subtle sign of certain sleep disorders. If you are grinding a visit to the dentist to protect your teeth and then a visit to your physician to talk about stress relief and to check for other medical issues may be in order.

Accidents Happen

Chipped, broken or fractured teeth are usually due to an accident. These can range from sports mishaps to biting on a popcorn kernel, but the effect is the same. A broken or cracked tooth. Teeth that have fillings or root canals are at higher risk for damage simply because their structure has been weakened by restorations. Protect your teeth (and your children’s teeth) during sports by wearing a mouthguard. Avoid chewing hard substances like hard candy and ice. Ice is especially bad for teeth because the extreme cold, combined with the hard crystalline structure of the ice can cause cracks and chips.

Avoiding Erosion

Another common factor in dental damage is erosion of the tooth enamel. This can be avoided but once the enamel is gone it can never be replaced. Teeth with solid enamel are white and healthy looking. Eroded enamel makes teeth appear yellow and dingy because the dentin layer of the tooth is showing. Avoid dental erosion by skipping the soft drinks, energy drinks and sports drinks — all contain high amounts of sugar and acids which are a bad combination for healthy dental enamel. Brushing too vigorously can also wear away enamel, remember to brush gently, using a soft bristle brush for 2 minutes.

Certain medical conditions can also lead to dental erosion. GERD, bulimia, morning sickness in pregnancy and chronic gastritis can all cause stomach acids into the mouth to erode teeth.

Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at706-886-9439 to schedule your next visit. We can help you protect your smile against the wear and tear!

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Category: oral health, TMJ, Tooth Enamel

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