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Worn teeth result from the erosion, abrasion and gradual loss of the tooth’s outer surface.
Your teeth are covered in a protective hard shell called enamel. This outer layer provides protection from hot, cold and sugary food and drinks. Enamel gives your teeth their white colour. Without it, teeth can appear yellow and flat and can become sensitive.
Enamel can’t be replaced naturally but it can be controlled – and sometimes repaired. Many things can damage enamel including fillings, decay, acidic food and drinks. Sometimes enamel is damaged by clenching and grinding, which crack or flatten teeth. This condition is known as bruxism
- Having hollows and the surface and edges of your teeth wearing away.
- Yellow teeth, due to the enamel slowly eroding.
- Sensitivity can also be present, which you may notice when you eat or drink something that’s hot, cold, sugary or acidic.
Tooth erosion typically happens when your teeth have been exposed to something acidic. This causes the enamel to become softer and it can start to erode. Your saliva is alkaline. It helps to balance any acidity. If there’s too much acid present or it occurs repeatedly, you mouth may not have time to repair itself and your enamel may slowly be worn away.
Acid in the mouth comes from a number of sources. It’s most often from sugary food and drinks like sodas, fruit juice, alcohol and vinegar. Drinks high in caffeine can also cause problems. Other things that can contribute include:
- Vomiting often
- Some medications, including aspirin and vitamin C
- Not drinking enough water
- Brushing your teeth too hard
How much does it cost to treat worn teeth?
The price of treating worn teeth varies depending on the condition of your teeth. We recommend that you see a dentist to gain a good understanding of your teeth. Your dentist will be able to assess and offer advice about the cost of any treatment. When you book online, simply select worn teeth as the appointment reason.
What is tooth enamel?
Enamel is the hard, outer surface of your teeth. It gives your teeth their white colour and it protects the dentine underneath. When enamel is worn away, it can’t be replaced naturally. Enamel can be susceptible to damage from abrasion and acidic, hot and cold food and drink.
How will I know if I have worn teeth?
You may notice the surfaces and edges of your teeth wearing away and you may see hollows in your teeth. The appearance of your teeth may seem more yellow, as the worn enamel makes way for the yellow dentine underneath. People often find their teeth become more sensitive if enamel has worn away.
How do you treat worn teeth?
Worn enamel cannot be replaced naturally so prevention really is best. Some treatments help to rebuild the enamel surface, such as fluoride treatments like special toothpaste and varnish. Fillings and crowns may also be an option to protect your teeth from further decay.
I'm really anxious about visiting the dentist, what can I do?
We get it. For most people who are scared about visiting the dentist it’s because they’ve had a bad experience in the past. Relax. Our gentle and compassionate dentists understand how you feel. Whether you’re anxious or worried about experiencing more pain or the potential cost of the treatment, the best thing to do is to let us know how you feel. Making sure you feel comfortable is part of our job.
Can worn teeth be prevented?
Yes. You can greatly reduce your chances of tooth erosion by taking good care of your oral health. Reduce highly-acidic food and drink from your diet, such as sodas and citrus juices. Sugary food and drink should also be reduced. Look after your teeth by combining good at-home dental care and building a great relationship with your dentist.
We recommend daily healthy habits and regular visits to the dentist. For optimum oral health:
- Practice good oral hygiene habits at home including brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day
- Book hygiene visits with your dental hygienist at least twice each year
- Book routine exam and x-rays visits with your dentist once each year
We know that when you look after your oral health properly with regular preventative care, you’ll be less likely to need to see a dentist in an emergency. You’re also likely to spend less money at the dentist over time.