5 Essential Facts About Occlusal Wear & Oral Health
At the Marietta dental office of James A. Merriman, DMD, FAGD, we believe an educated patient is the best kind to have. When patients understand more about how to achieve and maintain a healthy and beautiful smile, Dr. Merriman and his team know we are able to help you make treatment choices that will keep you smiling for years to come. Occlusal wear is one common oral health issue many of our patients don’t know much about, but Dr. Merriman would like to remedy that! Keep reading to learn more about this common condition that effects oral health, function, and cosmetic appearance.
1 – Occlusal Wear Occurs For Many Reasons
Like most oral health issues, occlusal wear has many underlying causes. These can include the following:
- Bruxism – also known as teeth grinding or clenching, this oral health condition typically occurs during sleep and can lead to advanced wear resulting in chipped or broken teeth and a smile line that looks flat or uneven
- Acid Reflux and Bulimia – patients who experience acid reflux or have a history of bulimia are at a higher risk of enamel erosion and dentin exposure leading to accelerated wearv
- Diet – patients who frequently consume foods that are highly acidic, sugary, or hard to chew may be at greater risk for occlusal wear
- Chewing habits – opening packages with teeth and chewing ice, nails, or pencils all cause additional dental wear
- Aging – patients naturally lose surface enamel as they age through years of daily wear and tear
2 – Excessive Occlusal Wear is avoidable
With proper preventive dental care, excessive occlusal wear can be avoided. We can walk you through in-office and at-home care to keep your smile whole and healthy for life. Additionally, regular dental appointments give our team the opportunity to provide protective treatments like sportsguards for athletes and nightguards for teeth grinders to limit occlusal wear.
3 – Occlusal Wear Leads to Numerous Oral Health Issues
As the hard, protective enamel layer of the tooth is worn down, the more sensitive parts of teeth are exposed to potentially painful dental concerns. Occlusal wear commonly leads to a variety of oral health issues including:
- Tooth decay (cavities)
- Chips, cracks, and fractures in teeth
- TMJ dysfunction (jaw pain or immobility)
- Chronic head aches
- Orthodontic issues (misaligned bite, teeth that don’t fit together)
- Teeth that appear yellow
- Smile that looks uneven
4 – Occlusal Wear Can Make Smiles Look & Feel Bad
Many patients know that occlusal wear can expose them to oral health issues, but they may not realize the way that this issue affects their smile’s cosmetic appearance. Excessive wear can shorten teeth, leading to a smile line that looks uneven. As tooth enamel wears down, the yellow dentin layer of teeth is exposed, leaving smiles looking dingy and discolored.
5 – Dr. Merriman Can Help Keep Teeth Healthy!
For patients experiencing any oral health issues, Dr. Merriman and his team are here to help. If you’re showing early signs of wear, we can help you prevent further damage. If your smile is already impacted by occlusal wear, you can receive effective treatment for the damage that has been caused. Call the office to schedule an appointment if you notice any areas of excessive dental wear. Below is an example of Dr. Merriman’s work:
Posted on behalf of Envision Dental
130 Vann Street NE Ste #210
Marietta, GA 30060
Phone: (770) 425-0448