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Our teeth play an essential role in determining our overall health. Most obviously, they are a vital part of our digestive process. They are a critical element of our ability to communicate verbally and non-verbally. Additionally, we are social beings and our teeth are one of the main features that determine our attractiveness, thus also playing a crucial role in our self-confidence and even our self worth! However, they are not indestructible and are prone to deterioration.
We all know that a major part of our regular dental check-ups is to identify any cavities we may have. But what most don’t realize is that the dentist is actually also watching for signs of excessive wear and tear on our teeth. This wear down can occur due to grinding, clenching, or even by consuming certain foods and drinks. Worn-down teeth not only affect the appearance of your smile but can also lead to various dental problems such as sensitivity, gum recession, and even tooth loss.
Thankfully, there is a solution for worn down or damaged teeth. This type of treatment in the dental world is referred to as restorative care. If your teeth are wearing or worn, which may be affecting digestive function and/or your appearance, dental restorations can help reverse those problems and restore your radiant smile.
Our teeth by themselves are not terribly strong. Fortunately, they are covered and protected by the hardest mineralized tissue in our body—enamel. Despite the dental preserving benefits we derive from enamel, our teeth remain susceptible to wear and tear. Tooth wearing factors often result in jagged, sharp, tender, or disfigured dental surfaces.
The following is a list of various tooth wearing factors:
Bruxism is a condition where one grinds or clenches their teeth unconsciously while awake or during sleep. As we mature, mild teeth grinding is natural and doesn’t represent a serious risk, but frequent or severe grinding can cause headaches, jaw problems, and damage tooth structure.
Symptoms of bruxism can include:
Enamel is the protective outer layer of our teeth. It provides defence to the inner softer more porous layers against chemicals and acidic conditions caused by beverages, food and sweets. These abnormal conditions created in the mouth in addition to things like excessive grinding can erode the enamel, leaving the inner layers of the teeth and even our vital systems exposed to bacterial attack..
Although teeth that are well cared for can last a lifetime, the everyday wear and tear that comes with age, in addition to unfriendly genetics can lead to a breakdown of important tooth structure. Time also has an effect on our body’s ability to generate sufficient levels of vital minerals that are critical for our overall health. Becoming older (50+) increases the likelihood of a breakdown of our enamel without some form of outside assistance.
A physical blow to the mouth, a fall, or biting down on something hard can cause teeth to chip or crack, leading to deterioration of outer and inner tooth structure and exposing our body’s inner vital systems to infection.
The good news is that there are options for any tooth deterioration that you may be experiencing. The method of treatment for worn teeth can depend on the severity and location of the damage as well as the symptoms the individual is experiencing. Timely treatment is usually required if pain is being experienced and/or eating or sleeping is affected.
Dental professionals are trained to identify problems that may not be evident to the client. They use tools to locate any concerns before they turn into serious issues that may impact our overall wellness. Visiting your dentist frequently for dental exams helps with keeping your teeth and gums healthy. For severely worn teeth, there are several treatment options, some of which are described below.
Dental crowns are porcelain restorations or tooth-shaped caps that cover/seal damaged teeth to restore their shape, strength, and function. Crowns can also improve the appearance and function of a worn-down tooth.
One-day dental crowns are possible because of an in-house digital scanning technology (called the CEREC), a new-aged comfortable process that helps generate computer dental models. The captured images are then sent to an in-house milling machine (similar to a 3-D printer). The resulting product, which your Living Wellness Dental Dorchester dentist can do in one visit, looks and feels incredibly natural.
Veneers are thin shells of porcelain placed over the front surface of the teeth to improve their appearance and provide enamel-like protection. Veneers can also cover worn-down teeth, providing a protective, natural-looking and lasting solution.
Tooth contouring or reshaping is a cosmetic dental procedure where your dentist can reshape the edges of the teeth to improve their appearance, feel and function. It’s an excellent option for minor wear-downs or chipped teeth.
Dental bonding is a cosmetic dental procedure where a tooth-coloured resin is applied to the surface of the worn-down tooth to restore its shape and appearance.
Being proactive can help protect your teeth, so taking preventive measures to avoid worn-down teeth is essential. Here are some ways to help you maintain healthy teeth:
As your teeth wear down, you want to protect them from further wear and enamel erosion. Remember, it’s vitally important to prevent teeth wear and tear. Once the protective enamel is gone, it cannot grow back.
The good news is there are various treatment options for repairing worn teeth. Consulting dental professionals in combination with sticking to a well-supported home-based dental care routine is the best way to avoid tooth wear and other major dental problems. A healthy, beautifully radiant smile can improve your overall health while enhancing your appearance and boosting your self-confidence.
Book an appointment at Living Wellness Dental Dorchester to assess the extent of wear on your teeth and to find the right solution for you!
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