We use our teeth when we speak and eat. Our teeth show when we smile. Teeth undergo a process every minute or every second whether or not we realize it. What does this process look like ? That depends on what we are eating, drinking, or what habits we partake in during that moment. Teeth go through a process of remineralization when they are exposed to fluoride or water (pH of 7.5 to 8.5). Remineralization strengthens teeth.
At a ph of 5.5, or below, teeth demineralize (get weaker) or worn down. There are a few types of wear that teeth can go through. Attrition, Abfraction, and Erosion are some types of wear. Attrition is caused by grinding our teeth down during waking hours or at night due to stress. Sometimes, the process of wear(attrition) is simply due to clenching down on our teeth. This is a challenging habit to break. Nightguards, or appliances that we wear over our teeth can help reduce signs of wear. Attrition can continue until teeth are less than half of their initial height and width.
Abfractions are usually caused by brushing too hard; although grinding can contribute to abfraction lesions. If the gum line area of teeth are worn down in a crater like deficit, it is an abfraction. Abfractions often cause sensitivity to cold/hot. Some abfraction lesions can be filled with tooth colored composites for relief. If the abfraction is in the earlier stages, a desensitizer may provide some relief.
Erosion is the loss of enamel caused by acidity from soft drinks or vomiting due to the acidic pH of stomach contents. Erosion can be caused by certain habits such as sucking on lemons. Milk can help prevent erosion because it has a high concentration of calcium. MI paste contains Casein Phosphopeptide (CPP) which is able to release calcium and phosphate ions to strengthen teeth.
If you or a family member would like tips on preserving your teeth, you may contact us at Museum Smiles. We would love to be your family dentist. We are conveniently located within a few minutes of Downtown Fort Worth, and proudly serve patients from Arlington, Keller, and Fort Worth Areas.