Teeth Showing Their Colors?


Teeth wear down over time due to various reasons. Sometimes a very high fiber diet over a lifetime can cause more wear. People with GURD (acid reflux) lose a lot of enamel as it simply dissolves away. Big time bruxers (tooth grinders) wear down their teeth at an alarming rate. Chemical/drug abusers with what we dentists call “meth mouth” totally destroy their teeth. The outer enamel is white but the inner dentin that starts showing with excessive tooth wear, is a darker yellow. Dentin has nerve endings running through it, enamel does not. People can become very sensitive to temperature changes or even chewing normal food can produce pain. Some people don’t have any pain because the process has occurred slowly over time. The inner part of the tooth (dentin) is porous and bacteria can traverse it making nerve damage possible. The take home message is this; if your teeth look like they are full of pot holes, very wore down, sensitive, yellow looking, etc. you need dental work. Sometimes crowns are needed because the wear is so excessive. For those lower front teeth that are all chipped and worn down looking and very yellow on top, the process to shore them up and make them look better may not be too complicated. In my dental office, I will bond tooth colored material to the tooth after minor preparation. The patient doesn’t usually require anesthetic. When I’m done my patients are amazed and happy with how their teeth look and with how little drilling it took. The teeth are stronger and less likely to continue to chip. Dental insurance covers the procedure as a filling. And now your grand kids won’t look at your teeth when you hold them close and ask, “what happened to your teeth grandma”?