Front Tooth Erosion

My top 2 front teeth are eroding a little bit from grinding them in my sleep. I am wondering what I should do with them. I need to get them fixed fairly quickly though.

I have always had wonderful, white and straight teeth, and over the last year or 2 from back pain flaring-up I have been having the problems with my 2 front teeth and don't want to look like a hillbilly.

I don't have a lot to spend, but really need to do something before worse happens I fear. Please help. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks :)

Doctor Answers 9

Save your teeth from wearing down...

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There are several reasons you could be wearing down just your front teeth. If you have been in bed more because of back pain, it is possible you might be more of a 'mouth-breather'. If you breath more through your mouth, either from laying on your back or plugged sinuses, it dries out your teeth.

The saliva buffers acid from foods and drinks we ingest. If you have no or less saliva from either mouth breathing, medications, or smoking, the saliva stays acidic and this can also weaken your enamel. Sometimes patients will get wear at the gumline first, but it can affect the front four-six teeth, if they are dried out. If you stopped brushing before bedtime, you might consider using a baking soda toothpaste to buffer your saliva, or drink more water.

San Jose Dentist


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Grinding at night is called bruxism and it can be because of many reasons including uneven bite, stress, etc.

The best treatment will be to get a nightguard which will try to reduce the impact of grinding on your teeth. The damage that had already been done can be corrected by restorations  , crowns, etc but the importance of Nightguard cannot be neglected even after the damage has been fixed.

Also , if you experience any kind of pain in your Jaw joints, TMJ, you should see a TMJ speacialist. The referal can be given by your regular dentist.

Dalvir Pannu, DDS
San Jose Dentist

Your teeth are in the way.

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Your body wants to position your lower jaw in a more forward position and your front teeth are in the way.  Believe it or not this is most likely contributing to your back pain.  Think about your head as a ten pound bowling ball that needs to be balanced on your neck to not overwork any muscle groups.  Your bite most likely causes a forward head position which can strain  the neck and shoulder muscles.  You need to fix your bite first with an orthotic and then restore those front teeth with crowns.

Protect your teeth.

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Your dentist can make you a nightgaurd that will protect your teeth from further wear.  If you would like to correct the damage that has already been done, you may need boding or a veneer.  If you choose to restore the teeth a nightguard still must be worn.  This will also help protect the restorations.  Wearing a nightgaurd is an important preventative tool.

Kimberly Johnson Genc, DDS
Newport Beach Dentist

Teeth Grinding at Night - Your Bite!

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The grinding or "brusxim" you are experiencing at night is usually caused by an uneven bite. The grinding is body's nautral way of tryig to fix your bite that is off!  First and foremost you need to fix the problem, which is the bite, and than worry about a protective plastic bite guard to wear at night to make sure you do not cause any more erosion to your front teeth. We use a device called " the best bite discluder" in our office which is very  inexpensive and will tell you whether  your bite is causing the problem. There are other appliances that can be worn over your teeth after your dentist has found a place where your jaw is relaxed and your natural bite is. He will continue to make adjustments to the plastic appliance over your teeth until your bite is corrected and the grinding has stopped. Again, the problem is usually  your bite, NOT  the grinding....which is a symptom . You can treat  the grinding and just get a bite guard made, but you still have to address the bite, which is the problem!  Look for a good neuromuscular dentist!  Hope this helps!

Robert Fields, DDS
Van Nuys Dentist

Erosion from Nighttime Grinding

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Damage from grinding teeth is very common. The real issue is the way the teeth come together (occlusion) is out of harmony with the bones, muscles and joints. A thorough analysis should be conducted to determine how to best get that system back into harmony.

Mickey Bernstein, DDS
Memphis Dentist

Grinding Can Destroy Otherwise Healthy Teeth

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First of all you are not in the minority when it comes to grinding.  Many people grind their teeth at night, but the good new is there is an answer that is conservative.  Your dentist can take impressions of your teeth and fabricate an appliance that you wear when you sleep that will protect your teeth.  Over time you may see significant wear in the appliance itself, but at least you won't be damaging your teeth any longer.  Also if you are wanting to repair the damage already done to your teeth from grinding, then make sure you make the appliance after restoring whatever has been damaged or your appliance will not fit correctly.

A protective night time appliance can help prevent further destruction of teeth

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Many dentists can create a plastic device to wear at night, allowing you to wear out or destroy IT instead of your teeth.  This will be replaced over time, and the frequency will depend on each person.

There may be some underlying TMJ issues that should be addressed, so don't be surprised to find that this is only the first sign of something much larger.

Nightguard for Grinding

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If you are grinding your teeth, you must do something to protect them at night.

If you are committing to any restoration or don't want your existing teeth to get worse, get a dentist to make a hard upper-only nightguard.

Jennifer Jablow, DDS
New York Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.