Have Worn Tooth Enamel & worn down teeth?
As teeth wear, they gradually get shorter, more uneven and yellower. Worn tooth enamel happens for many reasons. Grinding habits, mismatched dental restorations and unhealthy bites can all play a role. Unfortunately, ground down teeth are not happy teeth. If you are wearing through your enamel, you have a much higher risk of losing your teeth. Keep reading to learn why this happens and how to fix worn down teeth.
How Do You Get Worn Tooth Enamel?
Dentists call the hard outside coating of a tooth “Dental Enamel.” In spite of being the hardest stuff in the human body, it can still get damaged. Enamel gets hurt in two major ways. The first way to hurt enamel is by dissolving it with acid. That means that any acid from stomach acid to lemonade to cavity acid that touches a tooth, takes a little bit of the tooth with it. The second thing that hurts enamel is simple friction. Enamel can definitely get rubbed the wrong way. This happens when teeth don’t come together the way that they should, when we chew hard things and when we grind our teeth.
Why is Losing Enamel a Problem?
Not only is enamel the protective outer coating of a tooth, it’s also what makes our teeth pretty and white. Without enamel, the soft yellow-brown center of the tooth is exposed, changing the color of the teeth and making the teeth more vulnerable to damage and infection. Patients usually start asking us how to fix worn down teeth when they start to see and FEEL their dentin being exposed.
Excessive Tooth Wear:
Yellow-orange dentin is visible. Dentin is softer than tooth enamel. This exposure makes the teeth more vulnerable.
The Damage Doesn’t Stop at Short Teeth
As teeth wear, the shorten. However, this shortening doesn’t just change tooth length. It also changes the resting distance between the top jaw and the lower jaw. It collapses the bite. When the bite collapses, it also collapses the lower face. This shrinking or compression hides the smile and exaggerates wrinkles. It makes people look older than they are. Ground down teeth are more likely to need root canals and can create jaw joint issues, TMJ pain, popping, clicking and headaches.
A Collapsed Bite:
The upper teeth completely cover the lower teeth. The distance between the upper and lower jaws has shortened.
A Healthy Bite:
Both upper and lower teeth are visible. The distance between upper and lower jaws is normal.
How to Fix Ground Down Teeth? Do This FIRST!
Find out what has caused your teeth to wear down. There are several ways that corrective cosmetic dentistry can help you depending on the cause of your tooth wear. Identifying why your teeth are getting shorter is the most critical step in restoring them. Why does it matter so much? Unless you treat the underlying problem, no solution will last.
Once you know what has caused your enamel to wear away, then it is possible to plan how to fix the worn down teethand know that the fix will last. Did clenching and grinding grind the teeth away? A bite analysis will be key to making sure that crowns and fillings don’t grind away like the teeth before them. Did acid reflux or bulemia dissolve the teeth away? Solving any medical issues will insure that new teeth last. Once the root cause is understood, moderately damaged teeth can often be repaired with a combination of crowns, fillings and root canals. Severely damaged teeth may require extraction and replacement with partial dentures, bridges or implants.
In the next section below, you can see pictures of two examples of patients we’ve helped. One only needed crowns to repair the wear. The other patient had much more extreme wear and his teeth were beautifully repaired with All-on-4.
Tooth wear is easy to ignore – Until it’s NOT!
Many patients who come to us for help didn’t realize their teeth were getting shorter until they were terribly worn down. It happens so gradually that you can ignore it until it’s really bad. At that point, it feels overwhelming imagining how to fix everything. At that point, many people feel guilty spending the money on their mouths instead of on their kids or grandkids. We know – we’re parents too. We’ve all been there – trying to tough something out because fixing it seems too hard or too much. Worn down teeth can require major work to restore them; however, it’s important to remember that fixing worn down teeth is much more than a cosmetic repair. Because tooth wear affects key wellness factors like diet & nutrition and airway function, your new teeth will turn back the clock on how you look, how you eat and how you feel for years to come.
An Actual Patient Before Restoring Her Worn Two Front Teeth
The Same Patient After Restoring Her Two Front Teeth
An Actual Patient Before Restoring All His Worn Down Upper Teeth
The Same Patient After Replacing His Upper Teeth with All-on-4.
Restorative Dentistry: When Fillings Aren’t Enough
When teeth need major restoration or replacement, dentists turn to?
Headaches, TMJ &TMD
Frequent Morning Headaches? Jaw Pain & Popping?
Most people can guess that jaw pain is a mouth issue.
Dread the Dentist? Imagine Being Able to Sit Calmly in a Dental Chair with NO Anxiety?
Sound Impossible? Dental Sedation helps…