The Facts about Wear and Tear: Dental Abrasion
What is Dental Abrasion?
Dental Abrasion is a type of damage that does the nasty business of wearing away the protective outer covering of the tooth. At times it can even affect deeper elements of the tooth, which is known to cause more pain to the patient. It is generally caused by something that is constantly rubbing or scraping against your teeth. Items such as toothpicks are said to be healthy, but they can be one of the culprits that generally make your teeth worn down, and have this condition. Some acids and citrus in foods are also to blame when erosion occurs, because the chemicals they contain are a bit similar to those contained in stomach acid.
Some Symptoms of Dental Abrasion
When you figure out that you may have a condition that you need to quickly change or get help for, you always want to know what some important signs of it may be. If we are able to recognize what is happening, we can have the ability to tell the dental clinic we see what the signs are, and quicker get a plan for better health. Here are some symptoms of the condition:
• V-shaped notches in the lower part of the teeth near the gums
• Sensitivity to hot or cold on the surface
• You can see evidence of decay and some nerves or roots showing.
• Discoloration and yellow appearance
• Noticeable recession right on the gum line
• Cupping and dents visible while chewing
What Causes Dental Abrasion?
Many people don’t realize the effect that very strenuous brushing can have, as well as habits like chewing on fingernails. During elementary school, many children learn the habit of chewing on pencils, which can lead to abrasion as well.
As of late, many realize that switching to the softest toothbrush possible can really help them in the long run. During the 1980’s and before, many dentists were recommending hard toothbrushes under the guise that if the bristle was very stiff, it would be able to remove more buildup or food residue. Retainers that don’t fit quite right and partial dentures can also contribute to this condition, as well as the type of toothpaste you use. Some formulas in toothpaste are better than others, and having the ADA approval on the tube steers you in the right direction. Always make sure to rinse AND spit, which allows the fluoride to work much more quickly.
Steps to Prevent Dental Abrasion
To figure out some of the best ways to prevent Dental Abrasion, we went to one of the most informative sources for knowledge on the internet, Web MD at this link . Of the many ways you can prevent this from happening to your teeth, they list some of the most comprehensive and reliable. Here are some tips to prevent abrasion and keep your teeth generally healthy:
1. Avoid the sweeter side of things: These foods have acids that can band up and eventually eat away at the enamel. When you don’t clean your teeth regularly, it just gets worse.
2. The potential for acid reflux: Heartburn and acid reflux can bring stomach acids all of the way up into the mouth, which is where they can eventually damage the enamel on your teeth.
3. Definitely avoid heavy drinking: Those who are drinking very heavily may tend to vomit often, and on top of the other health problems it can cause, is very hard on the teeth, resulting in near instant abrasion in gradual amounts.
4. Watch it on supplements that are high in acid: Some vitamin C tablets and aspirins are very high in acid content, something that you should be on the watch for to avoid abrasion.
5. Grinding your teeth: Many people who do this often don’t even know it! it can be from stress reaction, walking long distances or perhaps waiting for public transportation in the cold.
6. Use an electric toothbrush: This is not the perfect solution, but has one very good aspect: on some newer models, an LED indicator lights up when you may be brushing too hard.
7. Think twice before trying to whiten: Some whitening toothpastes tend to be a bit abrasive, and while they may help your teeth’s appearance, could be harming it in the abrasion department.
8. Try mouthwash on the brush instead of toothpaste: Sometimes toothpaste may not be needed to thoroughly clean your mouth; you can use mouthwash on the brush, and ones without alcohol tend to be better.
“Abrasive damage can be really challenging to repair, so the best cure is prevention. Heed the warning signs and try to modify habits that slowly destroy tooth structure.”