Our Clapham cosmetic dentist discusses how we can help people who have worn down teeth.
The older we get, the more the daily wear and tear of our lives takes a toll on our teeth. Some of this may be purely cosmetic, such as the fact that our teeth darken with age; sometimes though, a more noticeable impact can be seen when our teeth start to gradually wear down.
Causes of wear
There can be a number of factors which can cause our teeth to wear down in different ways.
Bruxism – This is where the teeth grind together, often during stressful periods and very often whilst we sleep. This can be very difficult to control, and, although there are solutions available to restore damage caused by this, which we will discuss later, it is best to wait until you no longer grind your teeth before attempting a permanent solution.
Poor diet – Too many of us still have a diet that is relatively high in sugar. As we know, this contributes to attacks on the enamel of the tooth, weakening it. One particular problem that affects many of us is the rise in consumption of both sugary fizzy drinks and high sugar ‘energy’ drinks. Both of these have been shown to contribute to erosion of the surface enamel of the teeth, exposing the dentin layer underneath.
Excessive brushing – Yes, even doing your best to look after your teeth can have its pitfalls. Excessive pressure placed when brushing your teeth can cause the enamel to wear away. Make sure to brush gently. There is no need to ‘scrub’.
Solutions for worn teeth
Providing that the tooth is not actually broken or decayed, there are two main types of restoration that can be used, depending on the circumstances.
Cosmetic bonding – Cosmetic bonding is a flexible solution for worn teeth and can be used also to restore teeth that have been chipped or worn. It is a pliable material that can be used to reshape teeth, then ‘set’ and polished to give a natural appearance. Whilst it is a relatively strong material, care will need to be taken as it can chip and also may discolour over time.
Porcelain dental veneers – A more permanent solution to worn teeth is the use of dental veneers. These are especially effective where the surface enamel has been worn away but can also be used to restore teeth that have become chipped and cracked. Although composite versions are available, veneers made from porcelain are often preferred as they are non porous and will not stain easily. Porcelain is also stronger, although any type of veneer can become detached when under excessive pressure, such as biting hard on fingernails and the like. Patients still suffering from bruxism may need to delay having veneers placed for obvious reasons.
Crowns – A dental crown (or ‘cap’) is effectively a cover for a tooth which has been compromised by damage or decay. The underlying natural tooth is prepared to form a snug seat for the crown which is placed over it. Modern crowns are very natural looking and also strong.
Although preventing your teeth from wearing down is the preferable option, visiting our cosmetic dentist in Clapham can restore both the appearance and functionality for patients who have been affected. If you would like to discover more about the treatments mentioned in today’s blog, please call the Confidental Clinic on 020 7801 9060.