Tooth abrasion is a dental problem that is characterized by the wearing away of the enamel coating of a tooth. Scroll down to find out more about the causes and the treatment of this dental problem.
Healthy pearly-white teeth are definitely an asset and certainly enhance one’s facial beauty. For getting that perfect million dollar smile, however, one needs to follow a proper dental hygiene regimen. Those who don’t do so, are most likely to end up with stained and damaged teeth. While brushing and flossing teeth certainly help in maintaining that perfect smile, it is extremely important that you use a good quality toothbrush.
Brushing your teeth vigorously, especially with a hard-bristled toothbrush is one mistake that you must never make. Tooth abrasion, which is a dental problem that is characterized by loss of enamel coating or loss of tooth structure due to friction, is often a self-afflicted dental problem that arises when one doesn’t use a proper toothbrush or indulges in overzealous brushing. Friction from the hard bristles can adversely affect the enamel coating of the teeth. Scroll down to find out more on what causes this dental problem and how it can be treated.
Loss of Enamel Coating of Teeth
As mentioned earlier, the loss of enamel coating occurs when teeth are subjected to frictional forces. Enamel is the white coating that covers the crown. Underneath the enamel coating lies calcified tissue called dentin. Dentin protects the pulp or the inner part of the tooth that contains connective tissues, blood vessels and nerves. When one brushes his/her teeth vigorously with a hard-bristled toothbrush, the enamel coating of the teeth, especially around the gum line, starts wearing away.
At times, friction from the abrasives used in the toothpaste may also be responsible for causing abrasion. While mild abrasives are an important ingredient of a toothpaste, as it helps in getting rid of the deposits on teeth, strong abrasives, however, may harm the enamel. Even dental devices that may be scraping against the teeth would also cause this dental problem. Those who frequently use toothpicks may see damaged enamel between their teeth. The loss of enamel causes dentin to be exposed and this makes the teeth very sensitive.
Bruxism, which refers to the habit of grinding or clenching teeth, could also make one susceptible to loss of enamel coating. Clenching or grinding of teeth subjects them to a lot of pressure and definitely leads to a loss of enamel coating at the edges. Parents must make sure that children don’t have a habit of grinding teeth or biting into hard objects like pencils or pens. These habits can certainly have an adverse impact on one’s dental health.
Besides abrasion, there are other dental problems that can damage the enamel coating of the teeth. Tooth attrition refers to the gradual loss of enamel that occurs as we age. This is mainly caused due to tooth-to-tooth contact that occurs as we chew food. Tooth erosion, on the other hand, is mainly caused due to consumption of foods that are acidic in nature. Tobacco, caffeinated drinks and aerated beverages are quite harmful for teeth and one must refrain from excessive consumption of such foods and beverages.
The treatment of this dental problem would vary depending on the extent of damage caused by the mechanical or frictional forces. First of all, one must be very careful while brushing teeth. Since, using a hard-bristled toothbrush would cause a lot of harm, these must never be used. One must also use a very good quality fluoride toothpaste that helps in protecting the teeth. The way you brush your teeth is also very important.
Do your gums bleed when brushing teeth? Well, various gum problems can occur due to improper brushing technique. The angle at which the bristles are placed along with gum line and the pressure applied on the teeth must be correct. If the bristles of the toothbrush start bending very soon, then it’s time you change the way you brush your teeth. Those who unconsciously grind their teeth, must use mouth guards in order to prevent damage to the enamel.
If your teeth are looking discolored or have a yellowish tinge, make it a point to consult a dentist. Cosmetic dentistry is a branch of dentistry that aims at restoration of teeth and correcting defects. Resin composites, glass ionomers or any other type of dental filling can be used for covering the part of the tooth that may have been affected by abrasion or erosion.
Since loss of enamel often causes gum and tooth sensitivity, one may also need to use a toothpaste or gel specifically meant for sensitive gums and teeth. Since, saliva helps in maintaining the pH balance in the mouth and facilitates remineralization of tooth enamel, people suffering from decreased production of saliva, must also consult a doctor.
If discolored teeth have become a cause of serious concern for you and your teeth also seem to be losing the white enamel coating, consult a dentist soon. Pay attention to dental hygiene and follow the guidelines given by your dentist so that you are never robbed of your beautiful million dollar smile.