Our teeth do a lot for us, like helping us eat, bite, drink, speak, and more. Because of this, it should come as no surprise that, over time, teeth can become seriously worn.
Whether it’s because of a medical condition – like acid reflux or bruxism – or simply due to age, anterior teeth are especially likely to be worn down over time. Busk Family Dentistry explains the causes of worn anterior dentition to help you understand how this issue can be treated.
Defining Worn Anterior Dentition
Anterior dentition is just a fancy way of saying “front teeth.” It refers to the teeth in the front of the mouth, including the incisors and canine teeth. This is in contrast to posterior dentition, which includes the rear teeth like your molars.
Therefore, worn anterior dentition indicates that the front teeth have been worn down by force, chemical action, or another cause over time. If a large amount of enamel is missing from your front teeth, you may have worn anterior dentition.
The Causes of Worn Anterior Dentition
There are three primary causes of worn anterior dentition:
Erosive wear is usually caused by chemicals or acids in the mouth, which slowly erode the enamel over time. This is very common in patients with acid reflux disease because stomach acid can cause serious damage to anterior teeth. Issues like bulimia and over consumption of acidic beverages can also cause this condition.
Attrition wear is caused by teeth improperly contacting each other over time. Bruxism (teeth grinding) is the most common cause of attrition-based tooth damage, and it can result in serious damage to the teeth.
Abrasive wear is generally due to personal habits like brushing too hard, using abrasive toothpaste or toothbrushes with hard bristles, chewing tobacco, or biting the nails. Over time, abrasive forces wear away tooth enamel, leaving “V”-shaped, shiny tooth surfaces.
Treatment of Worn Anterior Dentition
Treatment of worn anterior dentition begins by understanding the cause of wear. For patients with erosive wear, lifestyle changes may be necessary, such as reducing the consumption of acidic beverages and fruits, or seeking help for medical issues like bulimia or GERD (acid reflux).
Attrition-based wear from bruxism is usually treated with a mouthguard or nightguard. Those with improper bites may require orthodontic correction.
Abrasive wear may also be treated with lifestyle changes, such as brushing less often, using non-abrasive toothpastes, and discontinuing unhealthy habits like chewing on non-food objects.
Regardless of the cause of worn anterior dentition, multiple restoration options are available. For mild cases, dental composites can be used. Made from high-quality resins, these dental composites can be shaped to attach to the worn tooth and restore the natural shape and function of the teeth. For more serious cases of worn anterior dentition, dental crowns are typically utilized to cover and restore the worn teeth.
Preventing Worn Anterior Dentition
The best way to prevent worn anterior dentition is by visiting the dentist regularly. Because worn dentition happens gradually, it’s often hard to recognize it until it’s too late, unless you’re consulting with a dental professional.
Dr. Ryan Busk can help you understand if you’re at risk of worn teeth and recommend appropriate next steps to prevent this condition from occurring, such as a mouthguard, if you have bruxism, or orthodontics that can help realign your bite and your jaw.
Avoid Wearing Down Your Teeth—Visit Busk Family Dentistry for a Checkup Today!
Whether you’re worried about worn-down teeth or you’re simply in need of a new family dentist in Leavenworth, Busk Family Dentistry is where you want to be!
Run by Dr. Ryan Busk and Dr. Janie Busk (of Cashmere Dentistry), Busk Family Dentistry is a full-service family dental care facility for both children and adults. At our warm, friendly office, Drs. Ryan and Janie Busk specialize in delivering knowledgeable, informative patient care.
Schedule an appointment today by giving us a call at (509) 662-8156, or visiting our office at 222 North Mission Street, Suite D, Wenatchee, WA, 98801!