Scottsbluff Dentist Won’t Let Your Teeth Wear Away
Tooth erosion is a frustrating occurrence for many patients. Erosion of the teeth is a common issue and you can prevent it by becoming aware of what the causes are and how to prevent them. A Scottsbluff NE dentist can evaluate your teeth to determine the source of your tooth erosion and the steps to prohibit further erosion of your teeth.
Enamel is the hard outer shell of our teeth. Enamel can be worn away by the various acids that come in contact with our teeth. Enamel can also be affected by natural wear on the teeth from clenching and grinding. As the enamel layer becomes depleted, the underlying layer, called dentin, begins to show through the now translucent enamel. Because of the thinning enamel, the dentin can make teeth look off white, yellowish, or gray.
If you think your teeth might be showing signs of erosion look for the following clues: discoloration, sensitivity to cold/hot/sweets, fractures/chipping, and cupping on the chewing surface of teeth.
Some of the ingested acids that affect the enamel on our teeth come from wine, coffee, tea, and soft drinks. Acid reflux and some medications are also acidic and can cause erosion. To help prevent erosion caused by these acids drink plenty of water throughout the day to rinse the acids from your teeth and eliminate any unnecessary drinks or food with excessive acids. Chewing sugar-free gum between meals will increase your saliva flow which is a natural cleanser of teeth, and using a fluoride-based toothpaste and mouthwash will help to prevent tooth erosion and decay as well.
To prevent the enamel from wearing down due to clenching and grinding, an appliance called an occlusal guard is usually suggested. An occlusal guard is a hard acrylic mouthpiece that is made by taking a impression of your teeth. You will wear it at night to disengage the muscles in your jaw so you are unable to clench down or grind your teeth therefore preventing further wear.
Once the enamel of your teeth is worn away, it cannot be regained. Contact your Scottsbluff NE dentist to discuss any signs of erosion and learn how to prevent further destruction of your teeth.