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Tooth Wear & Damage

Tooth Wear & Damage

There are many things besides having a cavity that can damage our teeth. Some of the most common ways your tooth can breakdown are:

  • Clenching and grinding
  • Sleep Apnea – can contribute to the clenching and grinding
  • Acid erosion – acid reflux or frequent exposure to acidic food and drink

Ask yourself these questions if you are concerned about tooth wear and erosion.

  • Do you find yourself clenching/grinding/bracing your teeth and jaws frequently during the day?
  • Have you been told by your sleep partner that you grind your teeth at night?
  • Do you wake up frequently with sore/stiff muscles of the head or neck?
  • Do you drink more than one acidic beverage such as soda, coffee, tea or sports drinks a day? (Don’t forget diet drinks are just as acidic!!)
  • Do you drink your beverages quickly in one sitting or do you sip it slowly throughout the day?
  • Do you have acid reflux (heart burn)? If so, is it being treated with medications?
  • Do you suffer from any illness or disorder that can cause frequent nausea/vomiting?
  • Do you have sleep apnea? Or do you use a C-Pap machine?

At your next visit to our dental office, discuss your concerns and answers with us. We’ll find the best solution for you and your teeth!

Here is a before and after example for you of an individual with a lot of tooth wear.


Effects of tooth grinding

This individual has sleep apnea which has contributed to a serious tooth grinding issue. They also used to have acid reflux which added to the problem. The color arrows will show you what is going on in the mouth.

  • Blue arrows – Shows yellowish cupped out areas that have been created by a combination of acid erosion and tooth grinding.
  • Red arrows – Show very flat shiny areas on the cusps of the teeth called “wear facets.” These areas can ONLY be caused by tooth grinding.
  • Green arrow – A healing abutment of a dental implant with the tooth not yet attached.


Teeth repaired with tooth-colored composite

This picture shows you the same mouth after the erosion has been restored. The dentist repaired the tooth with tooth-colored composite restorations. The treatment has made a dramatic improvement in the individual’s smile. It will also help protect the teeth from any future chipping, erosion or wear. The next step for this person will be to put a tooth in the dental implant!

If the first three items listed are familiar to you or you answered yes to some of the questions, give us a call and we can work with you on any tooth damage you may have in your mouth.