Why do Teeth Wear Down?

Why do Teeth Wear Down?

"If you say, "I have/had pearly white teeth, what should I do/should have done to keep them like that?" then this article is for you...

The changing eating habits play a crucial role in tooth wears. The factors that negatively affect tooth health can be listed as the increase in the consumption of acidic beverages, sugar, sugary food and carbohydrates in general. Even people who regularly brush and floss their teeth and go to regular check ups at the dentist, will have worn-teeth because of the friction caused by daily chewing motion. There may be changes in teeth over time such as attrition, abrasion and erosion resulting in the thinning of tooth enamel, and teeth may darken because of chemical factors.

Teeth don't get constantly renewed like nails or hair. They only form twice, once as baby teeth and once as temporary. They complete formation around 12-14 years of age, and those teeth will be used for the rest of your life. Only 4 more teeth emerge in your 20s, and raise the total number of teeth to 32. The average span of a human life was 30 years in the Middle Ages, now it's 80-90 years. Which means before, the permanent teeth served for only 15-20 years, whereas now they serve for 65-70 years. What's more the increase in the daily use of sugar, pastries, bactericidal acids added to food and food colourings, wear teeth down even more during this lengthened span of human life. It's inevitable that the remaining teeth will decay, wear down, darken, shorten, crack and fracture.

The Teeth Will Wear Down in Stages Throughout Life

In childhood, the teeth have a tiny jagged line at the end, and their transparent part is quite large.

In adolescence, the jagged line smooths out a bit, but the transparent part, which is enamel, is still in place. Some medications used up to this age and lack of daily care, cause discoloration and yellowing of the teeth. Tooth whitening, composite lamination and aesthetic fillings can fix appearance of the teeth, and make it as beautiful as it was before.

At the beginning of the adulthood, more people start experiencing wear, discoloration and loss of tooth. In this age, again, whitening, composite lamination and aesthetic porcelain fillings can fix the appearance of the teeth.

In adulthood, the appearance of teeth has changed a lot for the people in this age group. The loss of colour and size in the teeth are now disturbing. It's a long, slow-paced process, so many people are often unaware of this situation. They usually realize their teeth don't look as healthy when they look at old photos, take close-up shots or are warned by their friends or a dentist. In addition to loss of aesthetic, gingival disorders, tenderness and tooth loss are also common in this period. Shifting of the teeth is also a common problem. These can be fixed with a few simple fillings or they may require a full mouth restoration. It all depends on the person's own needs.

In the old age, tooth loss, shortening of teeth, crookedness, gaps, tenderness, gingival recession, yellowed teeth, and a worn down smile line is inevitable. Even if teeth were regularly checked and there is no pain, various restorations should be made to regain function and fix the appearance. Applications ranging from a simple denture prosthesis to whole mouth veneers to implant prosthesis can be made in accordance to the social position and budget of the person.

Regardless of the condition of the mouth or the ages of the patient, it’s important to remember that same teeth will be used throughout a long life, and all precautions should be taken to prolong their life.


What Can Be Done to Strengthen Worn-Down Teeth?

First of all, it's worth mentioning the importance of regular dental check ups every six months. The dentist will determine the most suitable treatment according to the amount and etiology of deterioration after the examination, and in many cases prevent the problem before it occurs. For example, it's possible to keep gingival recession under control with regular check ups. Bruxism is a common habit that wears teeth down. The damage can be avoided with the use of night plaque and some relaxing medicine.

If the change only occurs in colour, it can be reversed by whitening methods. However, in most cases, colour change is accompanied by other problems such as enamel abrasions, gingival recession and decay. In such cases, whitening may not be enough, instead, thin ceramic laminates adhered to the front side of the teeth can be used for the loss of function and aesthetics. This method, which requires precise working and experience, provides great results thanks to the developments in adhesive technology. During the procedures there shouldn't be extra abrasions to the teeth. That's why a fully equipped laboratory and an experienced dentist is crucial.