Tooth wear

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Tooth wear

Tooth wear is a natural phenomenon, however, presently, there is a significant increase in the incidence of pathological tooth wear (faster than normal for a certain age). There is a variety of reasons associated with tooth wear in young people. One of them is a diet rich in acidic foods. Having frequent snacks involving acid fruits and beverages, as well as increased alcohol consumption, is particularly damaging to the teeth. Dental erosion is a slow localized and almost painless tooth tissue decay due to effects of food or gastric acids.

Another cause of pathological tooth wear is the conditions causing gastric acids enter the oral cavity, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, bulimia nervosa, anorexia, and others.

Other no less important reason for pathological tooth wear is inadequate tooth brushing skills and use of toothpastes containing large quantities of abrasive particles. People who brush their teeth using lot of force, horizontal motion and a hard toothbrush significantly increase the pathological wear of their teeth.

Another condition relevant in terms of tooth wear is bruxism: teeth grinding or abnormally strong jaw clenching due to an increased tension in jaw muscles. Bruxism usually manifests when sleeping at night but there is also awake bruxism, occurring during the day. There is no precise knowledge of why a person involuntarily grinds teeth, however, the condition is heavily influenced by stress and psychological tensions. Other possible causes include an irregular occlusion, fillings or prostheses placed too high and the use of certain medications.

Tooth wear should be treated. The treatment begins with the removal of the causes of the wear. Nutrition needs to be adjusted and the diseases causing gastric acid enter the oral cavity treated, as well as adequate teeth cleaning skills developed and stress and psychological tension reduced. Lost dental tissues have to be restored. For this purpose, dentists use functional composite fillings of low wear rate the physical properties of which are very similar to those of the tooth enamel. The dentist uses the fillings to restore lost tooth tissues and stabilize the bite. Where tooth wear is severe and the restoration using filling materials is not recommended, a prosthetic treatment is applied. In majority of cases, teeth do not need to be filed down. Following teeth restoration, it is recommended to wear a mouth guard at night to guard against bruxism.

Worn teeth restoration with metal-free ceramic crowns.

Prepared by Dentist Jolita Stundžytė