What Causes Worn Teeth?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 September 2018
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Worn teeth will occur naturally over time to a certain extent, but extremely worn teeth at a young age may be caused by a condition called bruxism. This condition is essentially teeth grinding or clenching, and it can cause worn teeth when that clenching or grinding occurs regularly over time. Many people who suffer from bruxism clench or grind during sleep or during periods of moderate to intense stress, and changes to the daily routine may be necessary to halt the grinding and clenching. A dentist can recommend the best course of action to stop bruxism before it causes permanent or irreversible damage.

Bruxism will have to occur for a prolonged period of time for worn teeth to become present in the mouth. Many people experience this condition at some point throughout their lives, but fewer people experience it regularly enough to cause worn teeth. When bruxism does occur regularly, steps must be taken immediately to halt the habit. Many dentists recommend the use of a mouth guard when sleeping; such a guard can be made by a dentist and will be form-fitting and easy to use. They do tend to be expensive, so some people choose to purchase a form-fitting athletic mouth guard. These tend to be bulkier and softer than the guards one can get from a dentist, but they are far less expensive.


Stress during day-to-day activities can also lead to bruxism and worn teeth. Some people tend to grind teeth or clench during particularly stressful moments throughout the day, so stress reduction practices may have to be undertaken to stop the habit. In very severe cases, a trip to a psychologist or mental health professional may be necessary to discover the root of the stress problems and come up with a plan to deal with them. Very often bruxism is only one symptom of a larger problem that must be dealt with to improve the overall quality of life.

Taking dietary supplements may help alleviate bruxism, as can other processes such as Botox® injections, which essentially weaken the muscles that become clenched during bouts of bruxism. Botox® can be quite dangerous, however, and should not be considered by all sufferers. Mouth guards and stress reduction exercises are much safer routines that can help solve the problem. The damage done to the worn teeth can very often be corrected as well by a dental professional, though such dental work can become costly.



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