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Occlusal Wear

Stop Occlusal Wear in its Tracks with Pope Dental

Occlusal wear is dental problem that results when a person starts to lose tooth structure, most commonly due to bruxism (teeth grinding). This can lead to long-term oral health problems if left unchecked. At Pope Dental in Walnut Creek, we specialize in cosmetic and restorative dentistry that can correct issues caused by occlusal wear.

What Causes Occlusal Wear?

  • Bruxism: Tooth grinding or clenching that happens during sleep can wear out the enamel on the teeth or lead to cracking, chipping or other problems.
  • Aging: Some occlusal wear happens to everyone as a result of the natural aging process. All those years of using our teeth can cause them to wear out.
  • Nutritional Choices: Foods that are too sugary, acidic or chewy can cause occlusal wear over time.
  • Health Problems: Acid reflux, bulimia and similar issues that expose the teeth to acidic substances can cause tooth enamel to wear out more quickly.
  • Biting and Chewing Habits: Chewing ice, pens and pencils, and fingernails can wear down tooth enamel, as can using the teeth to open packages.

Problems Caused by Occlusal Wear

As the enamel on a tooth wears out, it can eventually lead to intense pain and other oral health problems, due to nerve exposure. Occlusal wear can also cause:

  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Tooth decay
  • Frequent headaches
  • TMJ disorder (jaw misalignment and pain)
  • Yellowing teeth
  • Misaligned bite or teeth that don’t line up correctly
  • Uneven smile

How Your Dentist Can Treat Occlusal Wear

Keeping up with regular appointments with your dentist here in Walnut Creek is one of the best ways to prevent occlusal wear from getting worse. Some of our treatment options, like porcelain veneers, can provide a protective layer on top of the teeth if they begin losing enamel. And in most cases, the proper oral care at home and here at Pope Dental can be enough to keep occlusal wear at bay.

In more severe cases, some orthodontic work might be required to correct problems caused by occlusal wear. This is especially true for patients who need pain relief from TMJ disorder, headaches or more serious problems. If bruxism is the cause of your occlusal wear, there are different types of orthodontic appliances that can be prescribed (mouth guards, night guards, etc.) that can prevent more wear on the enamel.

Call us Today to Protect Your Smile!

If your teeth are starting to feel sensitive, that could be a sign that occlusal wear is damaging your teeth. Call our office at 925-939-4989 to schedule an exam with us at Pope Dental.

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