Dr. Laura Geiger, DDS of Southeast Family Dental in Indianapolis, Indiana talks about the reasons your teeth may be wearing down including general wear and erosion. Dr. Geiger also discusses how teeth wear can be caused by GERD, acid reflux and even sleep apnea and why it is important to be forthcoming about your medical history with your dentist.
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Hi, this is Laura Geiger from Southeast Family Dental. Today we’re going to talk about tooth wear and teeth grinding. I get a lot of questions about wearing your teeth. I know a lot of, even my friends will say, my dentist told me I grind my teeth. Today we’re just going to talk about that a little bit.
If you’ve ever been asked if you grind or wear your teeth, then there must be some sort of sign that the dentist is seeing when they’re doing their exam. There’s a couple of different ways that you can wear or grind your teeth. One is from actual just general wear and there’s also called erosion. Erosion is more from acid being placed on the teeth, whether it’s soft drinks, wine, energy drinks, some people will hold citrus foods in their mouth, whether against their teeth or their gums. But there are also some health conditions that can lead to that erosion.
And then wear is more of that just physical grinding that patients can do either during the day at work, some people when they’re focused, and also at night. The problem with those is separately they can cause issues but also together, they can work together to cause even more wear and problems with our teeth.
The main thing I like people to know is, I want to know a full habits and history, medical history, of patients to know where this grinding and this wear is coming from. Again, the erosion can come from that acid and some of the things we find is that a patient who has been diagnosed with reflux or GERD will have a lot more of that erosive wear and we want to know that that’s where that’s coming from. Whereas with the general just grinding wear, that can also come from some health conditions, mainly, which would be surprising, is sleep apnea, because as your body is trying to force an airway open while you’re asleep, you kind of grind your teeth together to force your jaw forward.
So, some of those things, knowing whether you have those conditions, can help us determine how best to treat your teeth because over time, when those work together, they can cause a lot of problems with teeth. Sometimes they’ll wear the teeth down so much you’ll need fillings, crowns, and then worst of all, is if it disrupts your function so you can’t chew as well.
So again, being very forthright with your dentist, letting them know about your medical history and any sort of habits that you have will definitely help us in determining the best course of treatment.
Again, this is Dr. Geiger at Southeast Family Dental. We can make you smile.