Did you know that missing teeth can contribute to excessive tooth wear of your remaining teeth?
So, not only might you be upset by the unsightliness of such a gap or gaps where teeth have been lost, you may also experience tooth sensitivity, as well as problems chewing. Your teeth may also begin to look shorter on smiling or when speaking. In addition:
• Teeth may become less white as some of the outer enamel surface is lost
• Front teeth may become sharp or chipped
• Chewing surfaces may wear flat and take on a shiny, pitted appearance.
• Restorations such as crowns and bridges may stand proud of the natural teeth.
One possible solution is that of dental implants, a permanent method of replacing missing teeth by inserting an artificial root – an implant – into the jaw to then support a new tooth on top. The issue is a simple one to understand; if you have a gap or gaps in your mouth where a tooth or teeth used to be, there is a possibility that the remaining teeth will come into greater contact than they would have before, when there was that extra ‘barrier’ in place.
If you want to know more about your personal suitability for dental implants, I would be delighted to offer advice if your own dentist is unable to assist and, in the meantime, I am happy to offer some further insight on tooth wear itself, because, as the adage goes, prevention is better than cure.
The good news is that there are some simple steps we can all incorporate into our everyday lives to reduce the risks, such as:
• Drinking still water or low-fat milk between meals
• Limiting fruit juice to once per day and avoiding fizzy drinks
• Rinsing the mouth with water for 15 to 30 seconds after consuming acidic foods or drinks
• Chewing sugar free gum or eating a piece of cheese after consuming acidic food or drink
• Waiting at least an hour to brush teeth after consuming any acidic foods or drinks
• Using toothpaste that contains fluoride but is low in abrasivity, with a relatively soft toothbrush.
• Using a fluoridated mouthwash every day at a different time to tooth brushing, as well as before or after acidic foods and drinks, to help limit the erosive potential.
If you are suffering from excessive tooth wear and no preventive action is taken, somewhere down the road you will be facing the possibility of extensive and expensive restorative treatment. You may think you are not affected by tooth wear but there is no doubt that it is on the increase; over three-quarters of adults and at least half of children show signs of tooth surface loss.
We are ideally placed to offer you tailored advice on dental implants and tooth wear. Please contact the London Tooth Wear Centre® which offers an evidence-based and comprehensive approach to managing tooth wear, using the latest clinical techniques and an holistic approach in a professional and friendly environment.