Types of Tooth Wear
Tooth wear is divided into three main categories.
Erosion occurs when your teeth come into contact with acidic substances, such as sodas and fruit juices. The acid in these substances can actually erode your tooth’s enamel. People with lower amounts of saliva flow are also at higher risk for erosion.
How to Treat Tooth Wear from Erosion:
- Change your diet to limit acidic foods and beverages.
- Rinse your mouth with water or chew sugarless gum after your teeth come into contact with acidic substances.
- Be careful when brushing your teeth immediately after consuming these kinds of foods and drinks as the acid will have softened your enamel, making it more susceptible to damage while brushing.
- Receive a fluoride treatment.
Attrition is a result of teeth coming into contact with each other. For example, people who grind their teeth at night or who habitually clench their teeth may have attrition. It can also occur when biting or chewing food since the force can damage teeth. With attrition, the back teeth become flatter and the front teeth become shorter, and teeth may also become sensitive.
How to Treat Tooth Wear from Attrition:
- If you suffer with nighttime grinding, or bruxism, Dr. Orr can fit you with a custom mouthguard to wear while you sleep that will protect your teeth from attrition.
- We can recommend cosmetic or restorative dental treatments, such as dental crowns and veneers, to remedy the loss of tooth structure.
Abrasion is when your teeth interact with abrasive material. One example of this is brushing that is too forceful or is with a hard toothbrush. Other examples are using teeth to open bottle tops or hold pins, eating hard foods like sunflower seeds and nuts, and having habits like pen chewing and nail biting. With abrasion, you may notice a wedge or V-shaped indentation at the top of your tooth by the gum line.
How to Treat Tooth Wear from Abrasion:
- Dr. Orr can give you instructions for proper brushing techniques.
- We can recommend toothbrush and toothpaste brands that are less abrasive.