Treatment Of Worn Teeth
Tooth wear can occur as we age; as a result of alignment problems within the mouth or grinding habits (bruxism).
Rather than in the case of an instant breakage, teeth can wear down over a long period of time and is often, but not always, associated with an uneven bite. Whilst initially more of an aesthetic issue, bite irregularities may eventually lead to headaches, earaches and even back and neck pain if the problem becomes severe.
Another common cause of worn teeth is bruxism, or teeth grinding. This often occurs during sleep and can be difficult to control; particularly where stress is considered to be a major factor. Dental guards are available which can help to prevent the wearing down of teeth caused by bruxism.
Aggressive brushing may also wear down the enamel of the teeth and a gentle circular motion brushing is recommended to avoid this happening. Some people who suffer with dental anxiety brush their teeth too vigorously in the belief that this will help avoid dental visits, but unfortunately create more problems in doing so.
Can worn teeth be restored?
Tooth wear is often so gradual that we may not recognise the problem until it starts to affect our appearance. Whilst prevention is clearly preferable, corrective treatment is available here at Chalkwell Dental to restore both appearance and functionality of the affected teeth.
The appropriate treatment will depend on the nature of the problem, but may include the following:
Where minor wear has occurred, cosmetic bonding may be used to restore the appearance of the worn tooth. This is a non-invasive treatment and is usually performed without the need for a local anaesthetic.
Dental veneers are often used when enamel has worn down due to excessive brushing or other damage, or where there is a severe overlapping of teeth. The procedure involves the removal of a fine layer of the tooth which is then replaced with a dental veneer of the equivalent thickness. Dental veneers generally last in excess of ten years and are an excellent way to create a beautiful new smile.
Dental crowns offer both aesthetic and functional improvements where a tooth has suffered considerable damage. The worn tooth will be shaped and a dental crown attached using a powerful dental adhesive. Crowns can be matched to the colour of the remaining teeth for a very natural appearance.
Orthodontics (braces) can be used to realign teeth which are coming into contact with each other incorrectly and causing wear, as can be the case with an overbite or underbite.
For more advice about restoring the appearance and function of worn teeth, please contact our convenient practice in Leigh On Sea by calling 01702 475065.