woman sticking her finger in her mouth, looking at it through a small mirror in her bathroomIf you have badly worn down teeth, it can cause numerous problems. It can make your smile look small and either gummy or full of empty space. It can also make you look prematurely old, with hanging jowls, wrinkles around your mouth, and either turkey neck or a double chin. Plus, badly worn teeth can be painful and at risk for loss. 

Fortunately, cosmetic dentistry and reconstructive dentistry options are available to repair worn teeth. A consultation with one of our Irvine cosmetic dentists is the best way to find a solution for your worn teeth. Please call (949) 551-5902 or contact us online to schedule your consultation. 

Why Are Your Teeth Wearing Down?

It’s important to figure out why your teeth are wearing down before we can recommend good solutions to build them back up. If we don’t understand why your teeth are damaged, the restorations will likely just get damaged as well, putting you into a cycle of perpetual repair that is expensive, time-consuming, and unhealthy. 

There are three types of tooth wear that are generally recognized:

  • Attrition
  • Abrasion
  • Erosion

Each type causes different types of damage to your teeth. There are also multiple causes of each type. 

Attrition Wear

Attrition is when your teeth wear down from contacting each other. This could be caused by simple biting and chewing. However, it is more likely that teeth clenching and grinding (bruxism) caused that notable attrition. 

Abrasion wear happens mainly on the tops of your teeth (the occlusal surfaces), so repairs might focus on just this part of the tooth. If you are clenching your teeth, any repair should include a bite guard to protect restorations. We might also consider treatment for temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ or TMD)

Abrasion Wear

Abrasion wear is when foreign objects in the mouth wear down your teeth. The most common cause of tooth abrasion is over-brushing or using abrasive toothpaste. However, some foods might cause abrasion, and people often abrade their teeth by chewing on non-food objects, such as pens or fingernails. 

If you have a nervous chewing habit, we should address this as part of your repair plan. Any abrasion repair should cover all the worn surfaces.

Erosion Wear

Erosion is when acids in your mouth attack your teeth and is most often related to consuming acidic beverages, such as fruit juices, lemon waters, energy drinks, or sodas. However, erosion might link to health conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It might also relate to bulimia nervosa and other purgative eating disorders. 

Erosion repair should cover all surfaces of affected teeth and use materials resistant to acidic attack

Worn Teeth Repair Options

At Rice Dentistry, we’ve been helping people in Orange County repair damaged teeth for decades. We offer many potential options for restoring worn teeth, including:

  • Dental bonding
  • BioClear
  • Porcelain veneers
  • Dental Crowns
  • Dental implants

These are ranked generally based on the severity of wear they can address. We’ll talk more about the specific benefits of each option below. 

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a composite material (plastic and ceramic) that starts as a spreadable putty. We can use it to build your teeth back up. Bonding is inexpensive and quick to accomplish, but it’s also weak and not especially durable. Bonding works best for minor wear or as a temporary solution while planning more long-term solutions. 

BioClear

BioClear is similar to bonding, but it’s a more liquid form of composite. The flowable composite lets it fill in more compactly with fewer voids that cause weakness. BioClear is a good solution for attrition or abrasion that affects the top and front of some of your teeth. 

Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are thin facades of advanced ceramic that we fit to the front of your teeth. They are strong and durable, and with proper care, they can be very long-lasting. However, they are vulnerable to clenching and grinding. They are a great choice for wear or attrition affecting the tops and fronts of your teeth if we can treat ongoing bruxism. 

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are similar to veneers in that they are advanced ceramics. However, we can also use crowns made of metal or are ceramic fused to metal. The most significant difference between veneers and crowns is that crowns cover your entire tooth. This makes them a good option for teeth that are being eroded or abraded from all angles. They also provide strength and support to damaged teeth, so they’re recommended for all situations with severely damaged teeth.

Dental Implants

Sometimes worn teeth are beyond repair. If we can not restore your teeth with dental crowns, we may recommend removing them and replacing them with Implants. With All-on-X, we can support a full dental bridge with a relatively small number of dental implants, replacing all your teeth in one arch with just four, six, or eight implants. You’ll have an attractive smile that’s secure and be able to bite and chew normally. 

Get Treatment for Worn Teeth in Irvine

If you want to restore worn teeth for the beauty and function of your smile, we can help. Please call (949) 551-5902 or use our online form to schedule an appointment at Rice Dentistry in Irvine, CA, today.