Worn Teeth

Are Teeth Meant To Last Forever?

By age 30, a typical adult will have lost about a millimeter from their front teeth due to the friction caused by chewing. This is pretty normal and nothing to get worked up about. As you age, you’ll continue to notice your teeth experiencing a bit of natural wear. Unfortunately, an increasing number of people experience excessive wear far beyond what’s considered normal. This is a problem because worn teeth are more susceptible to breaks, cracks, and decay.

There are several factors that contribute to excessively worn teeth — from lifestyle habits to oral health issues. Proper diagnosis is key to fixing the underlying issue and developing a plan to restore the strength and beauty of your smile. If you’re worried about worn teeth, schedule an appointment with us. Our dentists in Escondido, CA are here to help.

The 3 Types Of Worn Teeth

  1. Attrition – Caused by incorrect tooth-to-tooth contact.
  2. Abrasion – Caused by external abrasive substances or materials.
  3. Erosion – Caused by chemicals eating away at the tooth surface.

What Causes Worn Teeth?


Involuntary grinding and clenching of your teeth (known as bruxism) is one of the biggest contributors to worn-down teeth. This often occurs at night when you’re asleep and you might not even know you’re doing it.

Dental Misalignment
When there’s a lack of harmony between your bite, the muscles that control your bite, and your jaw joint, it can cause extra pressure on one particular tooth or quadrant of your mouth.

Consuming too many acidic foods and beverages can take a toll, eating away at the enamel on your teeth. This is a particular issue when you don’t keep up with your routine dental care.

Physical Abrasion
You should always avoid using your teeth like tools to open bottles or bags. Worn teeth can also be caused by habits of chewing on your fingernails, ice, or the end of a pen.

Why Are Worn Teeth Problematic?

There are quite a few reasons you want to avoid or treat worn teeth:

  • Yellow teeth — As your enamel wears away, the yellow dentin layer of your teeth will show through. No one wants a yellow smile!
  • Tooth sensitivity — Thinning tooth enamel makes you more sensitive to hot and cold food/drinks.
  • Headaches and jaw pain — Misaligned bite can cause TMJ issues, including clicking, headaches, and trouble sleeping.
  • Difficulty chewing — When your teeth no longer fit together properly, it can be difficult to bite into apples or other tough foods.
  • Susceptibility to more damage — Without the strong protective layer of enamel, you’re at risk of cracking or breaking your teeth, or developing decay.
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