What is a tooth wear?
Tooth wear occurs with time and is a natural process. However, modern lifestyles can cause an acceleration of this process, and this is termed ‘pathological tooth wear’.
Types of tooth wears
There are 3 primary types of pathological tooth wear:
- Abrasion. This is most commonly due to excessive pressure with a toothbrush.
- Erosion. This is linked to excessive acid in the mouth which can come from the stomach – excessive vomiting or more commonly from the high frequency of carbonated drinks.
- Attrition. Caused by grinding of the teeth termed, bruxism. This usually occurs at night and patients are sometimes not aware of it.
Tooth wear treatments
The first two causes of tooth wear are easier to avoid. Try not to push too firmly with your toothbrush or use an electric toothbrush that alerts you when you’re pressing too hard.
Avoid taking fizzy drinks and juices too frequently (more than once a day). If you do enjoy these drinks, it helps to choose sugar-free varieties and have them with food. Also, avoid brushing for at least 40 minutes after eating or drinking.
If you suffer from stomach problems, you should consult your GP and alert your dentist at your next visit.
Attrition is more challenging to manage, and your dentist may suggest monitoring the wear or perhaps using splint therapy to limit the damage.