The Truth about Worn Teeth
It would be nice if our teeth could remain perfectly unaffected throughout our lifetimes. The real story is that our teeth are under extraordinary stress and suffer an enormous amount of wear and tear during our lives. The evidence can be seen in the worn edges, chipped filings, and signs of receding gums.
For your St. Charles, MO dentist, the most important question is: How much wear is considered normal and at what point does it indicate a potential problem? Excessive, uneven, or abnormal wear could be related to dysfunction in the jaw joint or muscles.
The way that your teeth fit together, or your occlusion, involves more than just the teeth. It also includes the underlying bone, the muscles, and the actual jaw joint. When this system (known as TMJ) is overworked or failing to function properly, the damage can be substantial. Patients may experience difficulty biting and chewing, bone loss, gum recession, loose teeth, or joint pain.
Rather than dismiss worn teeth as “normal”, we can identify the cause of the wear in order to predict your risk for future wear. These steps can help to preserve your existing and future dental work as well as your natural teeth. This information can also help your dentist to recommend the treatment that is most likely to reduce your risk for future damage.
- Low Risk- Patients in this category may notice mild wear and minimal chipping of the enamel, indicating a properly functioning occlusion.
- Moderate Risk- Noticeably shortened or squared front teeth typically indicates a dysfunctional occlusion.
- High Risk- When severe wear has occurred the soft, inner layers of the teeth are exposed, indicating a significant TMJ disorder.
Your dentist in St Charles, MO wants both your teeth and your dental work to last as long as possible. Evaluating and understanding the current condition of your teeth can be a great way to begin. Call to schedule your evaluation today.