The Daily Grind of Wearing Down Your Teeth
Even though teeth are built to last a lifetime, and in general are very tough it is important to realize that daily wear and tear like chewing food, brushing and grinding can take a toll on teeth. There are three primary threats to teeth that you should avoid if at all possible. The threats to teeth include not tending to chipped, fractured or broken teeth, the next threat is grinding your teeth (called bruxism) and the third threat to teeth is enamel erosion from acid.
There are a number of things that cause teeth to chip, break or fracture. Broken or chipped teeth are easier for your dentist to fix than a tooth with a fracture. Deep fractures that go below the gum line can be difficult to fix, and sometimes the tooth must be pulled. Chips, breaks and fractures are sometimes caused by biting down on something hard, but more often are caused by an accident involving the mouth. Sporting injuries are common reasons for the a fore mentioned problems with teeth. Teeth that have fillings are more likely to break or crack since the tooth is already compromised. In your effort to maintain healthy teeth, it is important to see your dentist if you have a crack, break or fracture.
There is a difference between normal daily chewing that your teeth are designed to do and bruxism, or teeth grinding or clenching. Micro-cracks in your teeth can be caused by grinding. Grinding can also wear down the points on your teeth and molars, as well as loosen teeth. Jaw injuries, headaches and muscle pain are also side effects of bruxism. Seek help from your dentist if you grind or clench your teeth.
Acidic bacteria in your mouth and food and drinks that are high in acids can break down your tooth enamel and leave teeth more susceptible to decay. People who suffer from acid reflux, bulimia, or frequent vomiting from pregnancy hormones are also susceptible to accelerated enamel erosion. Be sure to speak with your dentist about any medical condition that may make you more susceptible to advanced acid erosion, and help prevent any unwarranted stress added to the daily grind your teeth endure through normal wear and tear.