Sometimes our teeth just get worn down, regardless of how well we care for them. The enamel wears down from years of chewing and drinking or eating acidic foods. Fortunately, you can, and should, get them repaired.
1. Talk to Your Dentist
Discuss the condition of your tooth enamel with your dentist. You can do this at a regular check-up, which you should have every 6 months, or make a special appointment to have him or her take a look at your teeth and talk to you about your options.
Your dentist will probably notice the condition and talk to you about it at your check-up. But, if he or she doesn’t and you’ve noticed the enamel is wearing down, bring it up yourself. Ask him what your enamel repair options are and what he or she thinks will work best for you.
The Canadian Dental Association says, “If you need to have a tooth crowned, your dentist may do it, or he or she may refer you to a prosthodontist.”
2. Reduce the Pain
If the enamel is so worn that you are experiencing sensitivity to hot or cold, call your dentist immediately. What this sensitivity could mean is that your teeth are so worn that the root of your tooth is very close to or at the enamel surface. This condition needs to be taken care of right away to minimize the damage. Otherwise, you may need to get a root canal.
- Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to dull the pain.
- Avoid cold and hot food or beverages. Tepid is best.
- Eat soft foods.
- Chew on the other side of your mouth.
- Continue to brush and care for your teeth normally but take it easy on the sensitive tooth.
3. Swish and Spit
Rinse your mouth with tepid salt water several times throughout the day. This will help keep your teeth clean and sooth the sensitive tooth. The salt water makes the pH in your mouth more alkaline which inhibits the growth of bacteria. The salt and mineral content in salt water is also very similar to the human body, which makes it very soothing.
“Considerable research and clinical evidence exist to support the use of composites to restore worn anterior teeth.”
4. Decide on a Treatment
Your dentist will look over your teeth and make recommendations on which treatment would be best. In some cases, the teeth must be crowned, which is expensive and unpleasant. However, the worn enamel can often be covered with resin, also called composite, or veneers.