Cavities aren’t the only things that can cause damage to your teeth. If your teeth appear shorter or you have worn teeth, you may be at risk for severe dental issues.
Two common causes of excessively worn teeth are bruxism (grinding) or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). If these two conditions happen at the same time, tooth destruction will happen even quicker.
Grinding and/or clenching of the teeth. This is a common condition which occurs mainly at night when you can’t consciously control it. Some people may also clench and grind their teeth during the day, especially in times of stress, concentration, driving or if involved in heavy weight-lifting. Sleep bruxism is more destructive than daytime bruxism since the forces applied are much heavier while you are asleep.
Symptoms of bruxism:
- Jaw pain, clicking or popping of the jaw, painful jaw muscles.
- Headaches (especially upon waking).
- Worn and chipped biting edges of teeth. Edges of front teeth may appear translucent.
- Spouse or family members may hear you grinding at night.
- Sensitive or painful teeth.
Treatment of bruxism:
The first step is to visit your dentist to discuss your symptoms. If you do clench and grind your teeth, your dentist might suggest wearing a protective appliance called a biteplane. This will protect your teeth from wear and help your jaw joint and muscles to relax.
This condition occurs when the stomach acid back-flows into the esophagus, causing irritation. Also known as acid reflux, this is a common digestive disorder that affects many people. In some cases, the stomach acids can flow up into the mouth, and cause destruction to the enamel of your teeth. There is also evidence that the irritation caused by GERD can increase your risk of developing certain cancers.
Symptoms of GERD:
- Chronic heartburn.
- Acid regurgitation into the mouth (sour taste).
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Chronic irritation of the throat.
- Erosion of the enamel of the teeth.
Treatment of GERD:
If you suspect you might have GERD, speak to your doctor. Treatment may include diet and lifestyle changes, medication or even surgery.
Early detection and treatment is important since the more severely worn the teeth are, the more complicated it will be to fix. Call us today and take the important step in preventing further damage to your teeth.