Teeth that are worn, appear flat, or are often sustaining minor damage, are often a sign of an underlying bite problem. Dr. Petkevis offers advanced diagnosis and restorative dental treatments for complex bite problems such as TMJ that may be the cause for your worn teeth. He takes a comprehensive approach to your dental concerns and symptoms, using the Dawson Diagnostic Wizard and advanced technology to evaluate the function of your bite. Rest assured that he will take the time to discuss lifestyle habits and medical history, offering individualized treatment and advice for maintaining a healthy smile and managing risk factors.
Common Causes of Worn Teeth
Although our teeth naturally wear over time, certain lifestyle habits or dental problems can lead to premature wear and damage that can threaten long term oral health. Teeth grinding is a common cause of worn or broken teeth and can be treated with a mouthguard or other type of oral appliance.
What Causes Teeth Grinding?
- Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD)
- Parkinson’s or Huntington’s Disease
- Stress or anxiety
- Malocclusion (improper alignment of the teeth)
Another cause for tooth wear could be enamel erosion. Over time, certain foods, medications, and/or stomach acid from a condition like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause tooth enamel to dissolve and erode. Tooth enamel is like a protective coating for teeth. Once it’s lost, it won’t grow back. As tooth enamel erodes, the teeth become more susceptible to damage, discoloration, and decay.
Chronically Broken Teeth
If you have teeth that break over and over – even after treatment, you may have an underlying functional problem. This is often the result of an occlusal (bite) imbalance or TMJ disorder. This could come as a surprise since you may not have any other signs or symptoms other than the worn or broken teeth.
Dr. Petkevis has completed post-graduate dental training to be able to diagnose and treat TMJ dysfunction and occlusal disease. In these patients, there is an improper alignment of the jaw joints and/or teeth. When teeth make contact out of alignment with others, it can cause them to wear, chip, or break.
Treating TMJ Dysfunction & Occlusal Disease
Dr. Petkevis will create a personalized treatment plan designed to address your specific concerns and symptoms. This may involve bite equilibration (reshaping the teeth), orthodontics, or other restorative treatments to rebalance the bite. Fixing the underlying cause of the problem will ensure that treatment results will be long-lasting and comfortable.
There are a variety of ways to treat teeth grinding, depending on the status of dental health and the cause. The most common is a custom mouthguard to be worn at night or during stressful situations. This can prevent teeth grinding and jaw clenching and reduce or eliminate the associated symptoms. For athletes, wearing a custom sports mouthguard can alleviate the stress put on the teeth during play, and has also been shown to improve performance.
Dr. Petkevis may recommend restorative procedures such as dental crowns, tooth bonding, or orthodontics to realign the bite if necessary. He will also repair damage from bruxism that can compromise the integrity of the teeth.
Dr. Petkevis emphasizes the importance of maintaining oral health, including keeping the natural teeth for as long as possible. Treating bruxism will relieve symptoms that can affect daily life and restore your dental health!
If you think you may grind your teeth or have noticed some of the signs and symptoms mentioned, schedule an appointment with Dr. Petkevis in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania.