Our teeth deserve a medal. We put them through decades of chewing and grinding and bathe them in acid from foods and drinks. Because of the abuse our teeth take during our lives, some wear and discoloration may develop. Still, our teeth can last a lifetime with proper care. Despite the common myth, teeth don’t naturally become brittle…
Our teeth deserve a medal. We put them through decades of chewing and grinding and bathe them in acid from foods and drinks. Because of the abuse our teeth take during our lives, some wear and discoloration may develop. Still, our teeth can last a lifetime with proper care. Despite the common myth, teeth don’t naturally become brittle with age. You can take steps to keep your smile intact and beautiful throughout life longer. In this article, Knoxville dentist Dr. Jim Erpenbach provides tips on how to preserve your teeth.
What Wears Teeth
Foods high in sugar and starch pose the most common dental threat. The carbohydrates in these foods ferment, which causes bacteria to produce acid. Tooth enamel softens when exposed to the acid, which de-mineralizes enamel and leads to cavities. Excessive bacteria spawned from food particles and plaque buildup eventually infect gums if you don’t keep your mouth clean. Allowing bacteria to damage your teeth can quickly get out of hand. In fact, more than 80% of U.S. adults suffer from gum disease. Teeth grinding (bruxism) is another common problem that wears teeth. Stress, anxiety, or unconscious jaw clenching at night can wear down the surfaces of teeth and cause bite misalignment, or malocclusion, which contributes to TMJ disorder.
Lend Your Teeth a Hand
Keeping a diet that is low on sugary, starchy foods can help prevent tooth decay. However, any kind of food can stick between teeth and breed bacteria. Brush twice a day and floss daily to remove food particles, or, if you aren’t near a toothbrush, rinse your mouth with water after consuming sugary or acidic foods and drinks. Altering your dietary habits can also help your teeth stay strong. To satisfy your sweet tooth, chew sugarless gum. Chewing produces saliva, your natural mouth cleanser. As we age and our regular saliva production decreases, gum can continue to aid in fighting bacteria. Those with bruxism should wear a bite guard at night to minimize pressure and wear on teeth. If stress causes you to clench your teeth, consider stress relieving exercises. When you notice an extended period of teeth grinding, avoid hard foods to reduce friction on your teeth.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Knoxville Dentist
Regular checkups with your dentist greatly contribute to mouth health. Meet with Knoxville dentist Dr. Erpenbach routinely to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Call (865) 240-2035 to schedule an appointment at our 37919 dentist office. We welcome patients from Knoxville and the greater metropolitan area.