Defined as the chronic destruction of hard dental tissues (enamel and dentin) due to physical and/or chemical wear, tooth wear is more prevalent today than ever before.
Physical wear is caused by three main sources.
Attrition is tooth-to-tooth contact with no foreign object between the teeth. A poor bite and/or tooth grinding habits can cause pathology.
Abrasion can result from brushing teeth with too much pressure or too aggressively.
Abfraction is the result of microscopic tooth bending that causes shear stresses at the point where the crown meets the root of a tooth. Tooth grinding and clenching will also exacerbate the problem.
Chemical wear is also known as dental erosion. This is caused by acid that dissolves the minerals comprising tooth enamel and the root.
The three major causes of chemical wear are:
- Acid Reflux Disease, also known as Regurgitation or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Excess consumption of acidic foods
- Excessive consumption of carbonated or acidic beverages
The way in which acidic foods and beverages are consumed also affects how much damage can occur; drinking acidic beverages with a meal is far less destructive than sipping on it between meals.
These different mechanisms (physical and chemical) lead to unique wear patterns on the teeth. Only a dentist with a high degree of awareness and training can accurately diagnose the presence and causes of tooth wear.
If you have questions about tooth wear or to schedule an appointment with Green Bay’s Dr. David Brusky, call (920) 662-1440 if you live in Shawano, Seymour, Pulaski, De Pere, or Howard today.