Why do teeth chip, wear or break?
Have you ever observed how teeth become different as people age? Have you noticed changes in your own teeth? Do they seem darker or shorter? Are there tiny chips or cracks that have started to appear?
Believe it or not, this is normal. Even if you are blessed with very strong enamel, teeth do become more fragile as they age. The question is why do teeth chip, wear or break?
What causes wear and tear of teeth?
There are essentially two ways that tooth enamel can break down. The first is through habitual behavior and the second is enamel erosion.
- Habitual behavior, which includes anything from chewing on pens and pencils to crunching on hard substances like ice or hard candy, can impact or damage your enamel. Just doing any of these things once can cause you to chip or crack a tooth. Teeth clenching and grinding is another common repetitive behavior that causes tooth wear, and it can be even more damaging than chewing on hard food substances.
- Enamel erosion is caused by the stomach acids that enter your mouth when you experience reflux or upset stomach. In cases where a patient has other medical issues, such as bulimia, the risk for acid erosion is even greater. It isn’t just stomach acids that erode your teeth. The foods you eat or liquids you drink every day can cause a lot of damage to your tooth enamel over time. Some of the biggest culprits for enamel erosion include wine, sugar, carbonated sodas, fruit juices, citrus fruits, dairy products and vinegar.
Protect your teeth
There are three ways you can protect your teeth from wearing down too quickly:
- Consistent oral hygiene is still the number one method for protecting your teeth, keeping in mind this does not mean a quick swish of the brush twice per day, but rather properly brushing and flossing twice daily.
- Regular visits to an Edmonton dentist, like Dr Alex Pavlenko, every six months for deep cleaning and routine checkups will help you to catch and correct problems while they are small, less expensive and easier to treat.
- If you grind your teeth due to stress or a misaligned bite, see a dentist and ask whether an oral appliance will help protect your teeth.
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