In the past, wear caused by nail biting or grinding was paramount, nowadays wear due to erosion is a very common dental condition. It is number three in dental disorders in youth up to 16 years. Number one is caries, number two is the gum disease.
Dental erosion is the dissolution of dental enamel by the action of acids, a chemical wear of your teeth. Once dissolved tooth enamel never comes back. Acids are found in many foods. Sometimes the name betrays it, for example with carbonic acid in puncture lemonade, and with sweets, but usually not. Sports drink, for example, sounds very healthy and light soda does not seem to hurt either because it contains no sugar, but both cause erosion. Wine is also a culprit, tooth erosion is an occupational disease among wine tasters, because they let the wine roll for a long time.
The top ten dental erosion-causing drinks and liquids:
- Vinegar. Apple cider vinegar and other types of vinegar are often used in weight loss treatments. It has never been proven that the kilos of it disappear, that the enamel of your teeth does disappear.
- Lemon. Athletes sometimes take a slice of lemon in their mouth to prevent them from getting a dry mouth, the enamel is away from it.
- Cola drinks.
- Soft drinks with sugar and carbonic acid.
- Light soft drinks with carbonic acid.
- Orange juice.
- Apple juice.
- Drinking yogurt (with sugar), lemonade syrup, iced tea.
- Sports drinks, energy drinks.
- Mixed drinks with alcohol.
The last two are a problem in particular. Sport drink is for many healthy, but it is a big bomb of sugar. The same applies to the mixed drinks that every sixteen-year-old can buy freely in the supermarket. I have had teenagers in practice with sixteen holes during a six-month check, who after a brief questioning turned out to drink a Breezer every night before bedtime.
Are light products less bad for my teeth?
Sugar-free light products, such as sweets for coffee or light drinks, contain sugar substitutes. These products do not cause cavities. Light drinks do contain just as much acid as regular soft drinks. The risk of wear of the teeth as a result of acid is just as great with light drinks as with regular soft drinks. Light products are less bad for the teeth than products that contain sugars. Never brush your teeth immediately after drinking an acid drink. The abrasive effect of the brush and toothpaste makes it easy to brush away the tooth-enamel that has been affected by acid. Glaze no longer grows up, so polishing away is also definitely gone.
The damage of these drinks can be limited by:
- Not to brush immediately after drinking, but to wait for half an hour;
- Brush with a fluoride-containing toothpaste;
- Take a sugar-free chewing gum;
- Drinking milk or water after the soft drink;
- To drink through a straw, so that the liquid comes directly into the back of the mouth. In any case, don't let the drink rinse in your mouth or squeeze through your teeth.
"What can I still drink?" Many people will shout in despair. Fortunately, there is enough left:
- Water (without bubbles);
- Coffee and tea without sugar or with a sweet tooth;
- Soft drink without sugar and without jab;
- Milk, buttermilk.
Anorexia, bulimia and erosion
Eating disorders associated with frequent vomiting cause dental erosion. This erosion can be seen specifically at the back of the front teeth. All glaze can be worn off. Treatment options for this fall outside the scope of this book, because your appearance is not affected by the location of this wear. It does, however, seriously weaken the teeth.
Treatment options for dental erosion
If enamel is worn on the outside of your teeth, this has a lot of influence on the aesthetics of your teeth. In that case, placing facings is a good treatment option. That is, if your tooth enamel has only become thinner due to erosion. Once all the tooth enamel has worn away, the facings can no longer be glued and crowns will have to be made.
Facings can be made of porcelain or composite. Composite facings are quicker and easier to apply and therefore also cheaper. Porcelain facings are colourfast and have a nicer surface gloss.
Worn teeth off by grinding, nail biting or wringing off wires
When repairing damage by, for example, biting wires, it must always be taken into account that the cause of the damage remains. The habit of using your teeth as an extra tool in your work is often too ingrained to just be finished.
- Wires bite off by haircutters;
- Stripping wires by electricians;
- Opening up permanent wraps by hairdressers.
So basically everything where someone just needs a hand. The only disadvantage is that teeth are not made for it and wear out.
All treatments mentioned in this chapter under '' Broken corner of a tooth – Problems and their solutions '' can in principle be applied. Because the cause of the wear and tear can hardly be removed, special measures must be taken to protect the new restorations.
Porcelain facings will rarely be chosen in the case of wear due to incorrect habits. A porcelain facing will loosen or even break due to a heavy load. If the facing has come loose in its entirety, it can be replaced. However, if the facing is cracked, then it can hardly be repaired.
A plastic facing can be a consideration. Especially if you have decided to quit the wrong habit. The facing will then wear out a bit faster than normal, but will not snap with one mistake, as is possible with a porcelain facing.
If you are a grinder and want to have your teeth nicely restored, then it is a good option to have a mouth guard or splint made for the night. Grinding or clamping is usually done at night. The mouthguard prevents excessive wear and tear of the new restorations and ensures that your chewing muscles can relax. In our practice we often saw drivers who said they grinded during the long car journeys. Some of them also wore a mouthguard during the ride.
The advantage of a specially made hard mouthguard is that it also relieves you of complaints caused by grinding, such as pain in your joint and stiff muscles.