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What Causes Worn Teeth

03.12.2015 · Posted in Dental

Worn teeth problems develop when the protective enamel covering of the teeth prematurely becomes thinner and worn away. These problems may seem more of aesthetic in nature, because worn teeth become discoloured in an unattractive way. However, several dental problems can develop if premature tooth erosion is not addressed early. Teeth sensitivity can develop because the tooth roots become exposed without the protection of the tooth enamel. Cracks and damage on the surface of teeth can easily form when the enamel covering is compromised.

Causes of Worn Teeth

Enamel Erosion – Enamel erosion occurs when the protective enamel coating of the teeth become worn away prematurely. This is usually caused by the regular or heavy consumption of drinks and food items that have high acidity content. The acid gradually wears away the enamel, causing the sensitive inner tooth parts to become exposed and more prone to dental problems. Staying away from acidic food items and drinks can help protect the teeth enamel from premature wearing down.

Vigorous Tooth Brushing – Tooth brushing is an important part of good oral hygiene, but there are times that doing this on a regular basis can actually do more harm. Brushing the teeth using aggressive brush strokes can make the enamel coating thinner, resulting to worn teeth that are placed at a higher risk of developing dental problems. Tooth brushing should be done in a firm yet still gentle manner, cleaning the teeth completely while still being able to protect the tooth enamel from being damaged.

Teeth Grinding – Teeth enamel is easily worn away when it is subjected to constant and intense pressure. This pressure causes the enamel to become thinner, until the sensitive parts of the teeth (dentine, pulp, and the roots) become exposed. Habitual teeth grinding causes the enamel to become thinner over time, as the teeth are constantly subjected to constant friction and strong forces. Teeth grinding can be addressed with an orthodontic treatment, with relaxation exercises to manage stress, or with the use of a mouth guard to prevent direct contact between the upper and the lower teeth.

Biting on Hard Items – Teeth are meant to be used for chewing, biting, or tearing down food; they are not meant to bite down on hard non-food objects. People who have a habit of biting on pens, the tip of their eyeglasses, or other hard items are more prone to developing worn teeth problems. Constantly biting on these hard items wears down the enamel to the point that dental problems easily develop.

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