What Exactly is Dental Attrition?
As teeth come into contact with each other, toothbrushes, or acidic substances, they will occasionally begin to wear down and deteriorate. This process is known as attrition. Dental attrition is expedited by habits like teeth grinding and poor dietary habits, but it also occurs naturally. Throughout the process of eating, brushing rigorously, or simply due to the effects of time, attrition can occur.
What Are the Symptoms and Effects of Dental Attrition?
Unfortunately, dental attrition can occur for quite a while before any warning signs or symptoms are noticed. Here are some of the early warning signs and effects of attrition:
- Increased sensitivity to temperature.
- Increased sensitivity in particular areas of your teeth.
- Pain when chewing or clenching teeth.
- Noticeable wearing down of your teeth or enamel. This includes smoothing of the backs of teeth or unnatural angles developing in them.
How Can Dental Attrition Be Treated and Prevented?
Many individuals suffer from attrition due to bruxism, or teeth grinding, which can occur either when sleeping or awake. Bruxism when one is awake can be a sign of stress or unknown physiological triggers. Reducing stress and dealing with these triggers can help, but a mouth guard might be necessary if grinding continues. In certain cases, endodontists may recommend medication for preventative treatment.
Another way to deal with attrition is by simply watching your diet. Highly acidic and sugary foods wear teeth and enamel down quickly, so eliminating them from your diet is an easy way to keep your teeth healthy.
If attrition isn’t controlled, measures must be taken to repair your teeth. Since teeth usually wear down evenly, crowns or onlays usually do the trick. In more extreme cases, more complicated restorative procedures or even tooth removal can be required.
After dental attrition has been treated, it’s important to discuss maintenance with your Houston endodontist. You will need to carefully avoid certain foods, brush using special toothpaste, and schedule additional appointments to ensure attrition doesn’t occur again.