Tooth wear, which may involve tooth enamel loss, doesn’t just impact your appearance, it can also have a major impact on both your oral and general health and well-being.

If you’re concerned you might be suffering from worn teeth, read on to find out more about the condition, what causes it and how we can treat it.+

tooth disintegrating illustration

What is tooth wear?

Every day, our teeth are exposed to various substances and practices which gradually break down the tooth’s surface, potentially causing irreversible damage to the tooth structure. This can be painful and unsightly.

While everyone will have some degree of tooth wear, the condition can be more severe in some patients for various reasons.

Types of tooth wear

There are three types of tooth wear:

  • Abrasion: Physical wear of the teeth caused by misuse or repeated application of an abrasive material.
  • Attrition: Tooth loss caused by friction from tooth-to-tooth contact.
  • Erosion: The gradual dissolving of tooth enamel, the protective outer layer of the tooth.

In many cases, tooth wear may involve a combination of these.

Common causes of tooth wear

Excessive brushing, performing a repeated action like placing hair pins in between the teeth or tooth grinding (bruxism) can all be common causes of tooth wear.

Mouth acids are another common cause of tooth wear, as they can gradually break down tooth enamel and leave the underlying tooth structure exposed. Dietary acids, frequent vomiting, acid reflux and dehydration which decreases the flow of saliva can all be sources of mouth acid.

The long-term effects of tooth wear

When tooth wear is left untreated, it can lead to more serious issues.

Not only can enamel wear leave teeth looking yellow and dull affecting your smile, but it can also lead to further wear that can lead to broken teeth or structural damage. This in turn can cause difficulty in eating and significantly impact your quality of life. In some cases, worn enamel on teeth can also lead to dentine hypersensitivity.

How to fix worn down teeth

Unlike bones which can repair themselves if damaged, tooth damage is permanent.

The good news is that if you are suffering from teeth wear, we can recommend a suitable tooth wear treatment to restore strength to your teeth and prevent further damage from occurring, such as:

  • Dental crowns: A cap which is placed over the entire tooth to provide extra strength and protect the tooth structure.
  • Dental veneers: A thin layer of porcelain veneer is attached to the front of the tooth, improving its appearance and restoring proper function.

In addition to treatment with crowns or veneers, making some dietary changes or changes to brushing timing or technique can also help to prevent further degeneration. Tooth wear that is caused by tooth grinding may require additional treatment such as bite splints.

Concerned about tooth enamel loss?

At Coburg Hill Oral Care, our friendly team of dentists and oral health therapists can carefully assess your condition and recommend the most suitable treatment option to not only restore and protect your teeth, but also restore your smile.

Book an appointment at Coburg Hill Oral Care.