September 23, 2019
Have you noticed that your teeth look misshapen or are sensitive to hot and cold temperatures? These effects could be causing dental abrasion in Falls Church, leaving your pearly whites vulnerable to oral health problems. Worn-down teeth don’t just detract from your otherwise beautiful smile, but they can also result in cavities, bacteria buildup, and infection. Learn more about what dental abrasion is and how you can stop it from wreaking havoc on your mouth below.
What is Dental Abrasion?
Dental abrasion, otherwise known as tooth wear, is often used by professionals to describe the loss of a tooth’s surface area over time, not as a result of tooth decay or dental trauma. Bad oral habits can cause your pearly whites to erode or form into a V-shape, leaving the delicate inner part of your tooth that houses the nerves, vulnerable. This area is called the pulp, and when it becomes infected by harmful oral bacteria, it can result in severe pain. With age, your teeth inevitably wear from daily bad oral habits and other factors that are out of your control. After all, you use them daily to grind up and chew food.
The Causes of Dental Abrasion
Every day, your teeth are coming into contact with several objects such as toothbrushes, dentures, retainers, toothpicks, and dental floss. In addition to that, an overwhelming amount of people have bad oral habits like tobacco use, nail-biting, and teeth grinding. These people have an even higher risk of experiencing dental abrasion. Over time, these objects will grind away at your teeth, eroding the enamel and exposing more sensitive parts like the dentin and pulp.
The most common cause of worn-down teeth is brushing. Some patients have a habit of brushing aggressively and with excessive force to try to remove as much plaque and bacteria as possible. This is actually counterintuitive and can cause more damage than good. Some additional causes of dental abrasion include:
- Using abrasive toothpaste.
- Routine use of home-bleaching kits.
- The pH levels of saliva due to the consumption of sugary and acidic goods.
Luckily, there are some ways that you can minimize the wear and tear you cause your teeth.
Preventing Worn Out Teeth
Worn down teeth can leave your mouth vulnerable to developing oral health problems like cavities, infections, and gum disease. The best way to keep this from happening is to follow these precautionary measures:
- Steer clear of carbonated drinks. Carbonated drinks and any food or beverage with high levels of acidity cause erosion. You can prevent this from occurring by reducing the amount you consume and wait at least 20 minutes before brushing your teeth afterward.
- Treat bad oral habits. Bad oral habits like teeth grinding wear down your pearly whites. Your dentist in Falls Church can help treat this issue by crafting a custom oral appliance to prevent further damage while you’re sleeping.
- Refine your toothbrushing technique. During your next routine checkup and cleaning, be sure to ask your dentist for toothbrushing pointers so you can adopt the proper technique.
The best way to protect your teeth from harm is to visit your dentist every six months. They can alert you to any possible tooth abrasion and give you pointers on how to avoid it. If you experience any sensitivity or pain, don’t hesitate to contact them right away so they can prevent additional damage.
About the Author
Dr. Sanae Berrada graduated from dental school in 1997 and completed post-graduate advanced training in orthodontics at New York University. She is passionate about providing her patients with high-quality preventive treatment that helps them avoid future oral health problems. She offers comprehensive services including everything from CEREC 1-visit crowns to dental implants. For questions or to schedule a routine checkup and cleaning, visit Tysons Dental Esthetics’ website or call 703-821-8111.
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