Tooth Wear

Imagine all your teeth wearing away. A frightful thought. Everyone has some degree of tooth wear. However, in susceptible people it starts to advance at an uncontrolled rate.

Tooth wear is a result of:

  1. Attrition (excessive rubbing together of two parts) which is a result of:
    • A bad bite which results from teeth that interfere with normal jaw closure.
    • Toothpaste that contains abrasive polishing agents like tooth whiteners and tooth scrubbers (i.e. pumice, titanium oxide, etc.)
  2. Chemical erosion of the exposed softer dentin which is usually a result of:
    • Increased mouth acids from regurgitation & acid reflux.
    • Soda swishing (i.e. Coke swishing, Pepsi swishing, Sprite swishing, etc.)
    • Fruit mulling: sucking or chewing on fruit pulp for a prolonged period prior to swallowing it.
    • All patterns of tooth wear can be traced back to one or more of these causes. Fortunately, we have strong enamel to resist tooth wear. When does the wear become a problem? It becomes a problem when the enamel is gone and the dentin is exposed. The exposed softer dentin breaks down 7 times faster than enamel and that is when tooth wear can begin to advance at increasingly rapid rate.
    • Study the 10 Stages of Tooth Wear listed below. Do a self-comparison with your teeth.

The 10 Stages of Teeth Wear

  1. No wear, enamel is 3.5mm thick
  2. Wear restricted to enamel
  3. Wear with some dentin exposure
  4. Wear with total dentin exposure
  5. Chemical erosion of the exposed dentin
  6. Chipping of unsupported enamel surrounding the eroded dentin. This is a very thin edge which gets its strength from dentin
  7. Tooth sensitivity and decay of the exposed dentin
  8. Tooth shifting following the loss of tooth height and tooth looseness from an increased load
  9. Tooth loss due to fracture
  10. Increased wear and tear on the surrounding teeth

Tooth wear will progress unless you have your particular causative factors corrected.

Call Restorative and Aesthetic Dentistry at (719)593-0005 today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Seaman to learn what can be done to stop tooth wear progression.