About broken and worn down teeth
What causes wear, tooth decay and broken teeth?
Dental caries is one of the most common diseases in the world. It is an infection and decalcification of the hard tooth structure, caused by the acid by-products of bacteria.
If these bacteria are not cleaned appropriately from the tooth surface by good brushing and flossing, they start to cause decalcification of the tooth or root surface (enamel or cementum). It then causes cavitation and once it has broken into the deeper tooth structure, it becomes irreversible and can become more destructive. If left untreated it can lead to pain, inflammation or infection of the pulp, abscesses and… broken teeth.
Structure of a tooth
Although our teeth are the hardest substances in the human body, they can be subject to damage and decay. First, on the outside, is the strong, white outer part of the tooth (enamel). Underlying the enamel, the dentin layer is softer and more prone to wear and rapid decay.
The innermost structure is called the pulp (and root canal), which can get infected if decay on the surface is not appropriately treated. In some cases, the periodontal ligament, which helps hold the teeth tightly against the jaw, can get infected as well, and this may affect the essential role your teeth play in activities like chewing or talking.
What can be done about tooth decay and broken down teeth?
A simple chip or decay lesion can often be repaired quickly and simply under a local anaesthetic. If your tooth wear or breakdown is more serious and widespread, you may choose to carry out a more extensive reconstructive treatment in a sleep dentistry appointment, to maximise results in a minimal number of visits. The most common dental procedure is the removal of dental caries, to arrest its progress, and repair of the defect left in the tooth with a direct restoration (filling) or indirectly fabricated restoration (inlay or onlay). More extensively damaged teeth can benefit from an indirect crown restoration, and those with infected pulp or nerve tissue may require endodontic (root canal) treatment.
For more information, please make an appointment with our Perth Family Dentists.