As we get older suddenly we realised many things we didn't appreciate about being young - being fit, having smooth skin and having all your own teeth. As our loose teeth (and bridges) struggle to deal with chewier food we start eating bland mush and, there is no easy way to say this, OLD PEOPLE FOOD. I'm determined not to let that happen to me and I'm doing everything I can to keep my own teeth as long as possible, and when that's not possible to get the best possible teeth replacement. If you are like me and want to keep on eating whatever you want, I think you'll like my site. It's all about dental health and teeth replacement & maintenance.
Have your teeth become worn down over time due to bruxism? If so, you need to take swift action to repair the damage and, if possible, identify the cause. In fact, not dealing with the cause of your bruxism may result in any restorations you might have done today becoming damaged tomorrow. Thus, you should work with your doctor and your dentist to first pinpoint the cause and then repair the damage.
However, this article will mainly discuss the ways that your dentist can help you to repair worn down teeth. Teeth that are severely worn down need to be repaired quickly because they are more at risk of cavities than intact teeth. Worn teeth also cause your bite to become misaligned, which in turn makes bruxism worse, and your facial structure may also suffer. The following treatments can help to restore your teeth to their former glory.
Your Gum Tissue Should Be Addressed First
In severe cases of bruxism, the gum tissue surrounding teeth also suffers, becoming inflamed. This results in gum recession. Gum recession should be the first area that is dealt with; without the protection afforded by gum tissue, teeth are susceptible to cavities as the exposed roots only have a thin layer of cementum to protect them.
Your dentist can cover exposed roots with gum grafting, using tissue removed from your palate and other areas of your mouth. Once this has been done, the worn teeth can then be restored.
Composite Bonding Can Fix Mild Wear
For teeth that still have some enamel remaining, dental bonding can be used to cover and strengthen them. This process is similar to that of placing a filling. Severely worn teeth, however, should ideally be restored with porcelain.
Consider Porcelain Crowns and Veneers
When teeth are severely worn down, a dentist may need to first carry out a procedure referred to as "crown lengthening" where the gum tissue around teeth is reduced. This adds slightly more tooth structure to work with. Once this has been done, some of the tooth structure will be removed in order to make space for the porcelain crown to be fitted over the tooth.
In the case of veneers, it is better for them to be placed on teeth that still have a good amount of enamel remaining as veneers are designed to sit on the front of teeth, not the biting surface. As a general rule, remember that veneers are much more suited to the anterior (front) teeth than the posterior (back) teeth.
Crowns provide your molars with the durability they need to grind food. Veneers, on the other hand, are much thinner and so are better suited to your incisors and canines.
Once your teeth have been restored, a dentist can give you a night-guard. Ensure that you wear it every night without fail. You wouldn't want to wake up to find that your expensive restorations have been compromised by your nocturnal grinding (bruxism).