Gone are the days when you could expect to lose your teeth as you got older, but a lifetime of wear and tear can take its toll. Worn teeth can be more sensitive to temperature and more prone to damage, as well as affecting how you look.
If you have worn or damaged teeth, your dentist can help. They can discuss treatments for rebuilding worn teeth and give you advice about how to avoid further damage.
What happens when teeth wear down?
Tooth wear is the loss of enamel, the hard outer layer of teeth. When enamel breaks down, this exposes more of the dentine layer beneath.
Dentine is softer than enamel, so worn down teeth often feel more sensitive to temperature and pressure. They may also feel painful and are more vulnerable to damage from tooth decay and injuries.
Tooth wear can also affect the appearance of your smile, as teeth may become shorter or misshapen. When clear enamel is lost and more dentine is visible, this gives teeth a yellow or brown colour.
What causes tooth wear?
Teeth can wear down for many reasons. The most common are:
- Normal wear and tear from eating and teeth coming into contact with each other
- Exposure to acids in food and drink, medications, vomit or acid reflux
- Brushing teeth too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush
- Friction from teeth grinding (bruxism) or a misaligned bite
Your dentist will aim to find out the cause of your tooth wear so they can recommend the most suitable treatments and prevention advice.
Can you fix worn down teeth?
You don't have to live with worn and sensitive teeth. After taking steps to prevent or reduce further erosion, your dentist can discuss treatments to rebuild your teeth. These may include:
- Dental bonding – applying a tooth-coloured resin in layers to build up worn, damaged or discoloured teeth
- Dental crown – fitting custom crowns over the top of teeth to restore their strength and appearance
- Dental splint – a protective splint fitted over your restored teeth to help preserve your new smile
Your dentist will explain what each procedure involves so you can make fully informed decisions about your dental treatment.
How do I stop my teeth from wearing down?
You may not be able to prevent all tooth wear, but you can reduce its effects by addressing the root causes. This could mean:
- Avoiding acidic food and drink (such as wine, fruit juice, soft drinks and vinegar)
- Brushing your teeth more gently or switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Talking to your doctor about vomiting or reflux issues
- Talking to your dentist about teeth grinding treatments, which may involve reducing stress or wearing a night guard
- Keeping up with your regular check-ups so your dentist can monitor the health of your teeth and catch any problems early
Tooth wear treatments in Everton Park and Mitchelton
If your teeth are worn and you want to do something about it, book an appointment with our dentists in Brisbane to find out how we can help.