Dental abrasion is when your teeth lose some of their enamel, leaving them sensitive and not looking their best.
It can be uncomfortable, but your dentist can help you with it. It’s also good to know how it happens and what you can do to avoid it in the future.
We’ve put this article together to explain how to prevent dental abrasion and how your dentist can help you if you suffer from this condition.
More about dental abrasion
Dental abrasion is a term that describes what happens when your teeth have lost some of their enamel.
You or your dentist may notice discoloured areas on your teeth near the gumline. This is where the enamel has worn down, and the darker inner layer of your teeth is exposed.
You may also experience sensitivity, especially when consuming sweet, hot or cold food or drink.
What causes dental abrasion?
Dental abrasion is caused by your teeth being worn down by one means or another.
There’s a strong link between dental abrasion and toothbrushing — it’s often caused by brushing with too much force or using an abrasive toothpaste or a hard-bristled brush.
Dental abrasion can also be caused by biting your fingernails or chewing on hard objects.
And consuming lots of acidic food and drink like citrus fruits and fizzy drinks can weaken your tooth enamel and make it more likely to break down.
It takes place over a long period of time, so you may not notice it at first — in fact, the first you may know about it is when your dentist tells you at your regular check-up.
How to treat dental abrasion
Your dental abrasion must be treated for several reasons. When your tooth enamel wears away, your teeth are more vulnerable to plaque and bacteria, which can cause decay or an infection.
You may also find that your teeth are sensitive, and because the darker inner layer is visible, they look discoloured too.
Your dentist may offer you dental bonding, veneers or crowns to treat your abrasion.
With dental bonding, tooth-coloured resin is applied to the affected area and bonded onto your tooth to restore its appearance and prevent further damage.
Veneers are lightweight shells made of composite or porcelain attached to the front of the teeth which can make your teeth look better and restore their shape.
Crowns are an option for teeth significantly affected by dental abrasion. A protective cap is put over the tooth to protect it and improve the appearance of your smile.
How to prevent dental abrasion
You can prevent dental abrasion and the damage it causes by:
- Brushing your teeth gently using a soft-bristled brush and non-abrasive toothpaste
- Considering using an electric toothbrush instead of a manual one
- Avoiding acidic foods and drinks
- Getting regular check-ups at your dentist’s so they can spot any signs of dental abrasion
Get help with your dental abrasion
If you think you have dental abrasion or are just due a regular check-up, why not come and see us at Opal Dental?
We serve the residents of Te Atatu and surrounding areas, providing a full range of dental treatments.
Call us to make an appointment to check out your dental abrasion or for any other of our extensive services…we’re always happy to see you, whatever the reason!