We do see quite a few patients here at our Leeds surgery with signs of wear on their teeth. It is something that can happen to people of any age, but it tends to be more prevalent in older patients. If tooth wear goes undetected and untreated then it can cause a problem, but it is something that tends to be preventable.
This is one of the most common problems seen here at Leeds City Dentalcare, and it is usually caused by people being too enthusiastic when brushing their teeth. It is a common misconception that you need to brush vigorously to get your teeth clean, when in fact it is more down to technique, and making sure you brush thoroughly but gently. There is no need to use a lot of force when brushing, and it is better to use a fairly soft toothbrush with rounded bristles that will not damage the teeth and gums.
It has become quite popular to use whitening toothpastes, as more people are interested in having a whiter smile, but some of these toothpastes can be very abrasive. If you do have signs of tooth wear then you may be better of avoiding these toothpastes and using fluoride toothpaste that can help to strengthen the tooth enamel instead.
Tooth Enamel Erosion
This is another thing we see quite frequently at Leeds City Dentalcare, and it can be down to diet. Eating a diet that is high in acids, for example eating lots of citrus fruits or sucking on lemons can help to erode the enamel. It is also something that can be down to drinking a lot of soft drinks, or from having a diet that is high in sugars or carbohydrates. The bacteria that are naturally present in the mouth use these foods as a source of energy, producing acids as a by-product that lowers the pH of the mouth, increasing the acidity. This high acidity softens the tooth enamel, and if it occurs frequently will lead to erosion.
Teeth Grinding and Tooth Abfraction
Teeth grinding or bruxism can cause extensive wear to the teeth, as the grinding action wears away the tooth enamel creating fractures and chips in the tooth. Tooth Abfraction is something that can happen as a result of bruxism, as the grinding action causes the tooth to flex. The enamel nearest to the gum line can begin to fracture. Eventually this causes notches to appear in the tooth. These notches may not require immediate treatment, but they are probably something that will need checking regularly.
If you do have any signs of tooth wear then it might be due to just one of the above, or it could be down to a combination of reasons. Dr David Brown, or another member of our dentist in Leeds will be able to let you know the exact cause of your tooth wear, and can offer advice on the best way to deal with it. If we think you are brushing your teeth to hard then we can give you lots of practical advice on brushing and flossing techniques to help get your teeth and gums clean without causing damage.