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The Real Reason for Tooth Wear

Your teeth are made of the hardest substance in your body.

So why are they worn down so easily?

Perhaps you’ve been told that the way you’re brushing your teeth is causing enamel erosion. The person who told you that is partially right, but there are other reasons for the increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods as well as new notches in your teeth, close to the gumline, also known as abfractions.

Can over-brushing lead to tooth decay?

It’s been drilled into your head pretty much from the day you got your first tooth that regular brushing and flossing is the key to a healthy mouth. And it’s true. But it’s also possible to over brush.

Over-brushing doesn’t just refer to how often you brush your teeth, but also to how hard you brush them. If you’re acting like you’re trying to scrape paint off a wall, you’re going to do more harm than good if you do it regularly. Not only are you more likely to end up with tooth sensitivity and gum recession, you’re also at risk of developing dental abrasion, which is the loss of tooth structure due to a foreign object, like a toothbrush.

According to Colgate, excessive brushing wears away at your enamel and will eventually damage the dentin and cementum (two of the four tissues in your teeth) structures. To tell if you’ve been affected by abrasion, look for worn, shiny, and yellow or brown spots on your tooth near the gumline. You may also notice some notching, which is the wedge or v-shaped indentations along your gum line.

How does my bite affect the condition of my teeth?

Your bite is how your top and bottom teeth fit together. When they do not line up properly, this is called a malocclusion or a bad bite.

If you have a bad bite or you regularly grind your teeth, your teeth will flex where they meet the gums, which will microscopically stimulate the nerve. Your enamel will then start to splinter away which will lead to notching. This is a sign of bigger problems as a bad bite is the leading cause of jaw joint (temporomandibular joint) problems which can lead to:

  • Tooth loss
  • Jaw pain
  • Jaw popping and clicking
  • Chronic headaches and migraines
  • Soreness in your neck and back

Is there a dentist in Ottawa who can restore my teeth?

If you notice any signs of tooth wear, including sensitivity, gum recession, or tooth abfractions, reach out to Dr. Andrea Stevens. She and her team will do everything they can to help you get back to a healthy, beautiful smile.

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