Tooth Wear in Grand Rapids

Tooth Wear in Grand Rapids, Kentwood, East Grand Rapids, MI

What is Tooth Wear?

Tooth wear is a condition that is usually brought on by poor brushing techniques, age, and grinding one’s teeth. Over time, tooth wear can lead to exposed dentin on one or more tooth surfaces. Dentin is a dense, bony tissue that makes up the bulk of a tooth and lies beneath the enamel. Once the protective layer of the tooth deteriorates, your teeth can become hypersensitive, especially when they come in contact with cold food or beverages. It is also worth noting that this hypersensitivity can cause sharp, sudden pain.

Types of Tooth Wear

Although tooth wear can be caused by different specific things, there are three different categories of tooth wear.

Attrition

This type of tooth wear is caused by grinding or chewing, which wears down the tooth’s surface. Of course, the extent of attrition will depend on how an individual grinds their teeth. For example, bruxism, which is the act of clenching and simultaneously grinding one’s teeth while sleeping, can result in a severe case of attrition.

Erosion

This type is caused by chemical or acid dissolution, which is usually caused by consuming too many carbonated or acidic beverages. Erosion can also be caused by consuming large amounts of acidic fruit juice. Not surprisingly, this dental problem is common among teenagers. It is also worth noting that erosion can be the result of eating disorders like bulimia and digestive problems like gastroesophageal reflux, for example.

Abrasion

This type is generally brought on by poor tooth brushing habits, tooth-to-tooth contact, and other mechanical actions. Abrasion weakens enamel and leaves notches around the crown and root of the teeth. This condition can also stem from oral fixation and wearing certain oral jewelry like tongue barbells and lip rings, for example.

Treating Worn Teeth

If you’ve been experiencing tooth wear, Dr. Peter Zwier in Grand Rapids, MI can perform some restorative procedures to help protect your teeth from further wear. Dental bonding is one procedure where a white filling is placed onto the tooth where it bonds to it as a protective layer. This can be matched to your natural tooth color so it’s not noticeable. Also, crowns or veneers can protect the teeth from further wear. Dr. Zwier can discuss the right options for you during an appointment.

Preventing Tooth Wear

To improve your chances of keeping your natural teeth longer, you should avoid doing things that can damage the tooth’s enamel like consuming excessive amounts of soda and acidic beverages. Also, if you grind your teeth while sleeping, you should invest in a protective mouth guard. Beyond that, you should aim to schedule routine dental exams to help detect problems early. Dr. Zwier can look at the factors causing your tooth wear and help you make the lifestyle changes to prevent further wear. Dr. Zwier is a certified East Grand Rapids dentist who can recommend the right options for you to keep strong, healthy teeth.