Dental Topics

Med City Dental offers complete dental care services in a convenient downtown location to accommodate a full range of our patients’ needs.

Attrition

Is the gradual loss of enamel through “wear”. A small amount of attrition may be caused by normal speaking and eating over time, but greater wear is caused by Bruxism (grinding of the teeth against teeth), and/or clenching.

Bulimia

Is an eating disorder in which a person binges and purges in an attempt to control their weight. Purging (forced vomiting) strips the teeth of their protective enamel by washing them in stomach acid, leaving them vulnerable to crumbling, fracturing, cavities, sensitivity, and gum disease.

Dental “erosion” caused by Bulimia is treated by restorations of the damaged surfaces with veneers, crowns, composite fillings, or a complete smile makeover. In-office fluoride applications may prevent further erosion and decrease sensitivity. Patients are also encouraged to seek a mental health professional who is experienced in treating eating disorders.

Cracked Tooth Syndrome

Teeth sometimes have cracks that are too small to be detected by an X-ray. Sometimes the cracks are under the gum, also making it hard to identify. Cracked tooth syndrome is most common in lower back molars because these teeth absorb most of the forces of chewing. Some of the main causes of cracked tooth syndrome are grinding and clenching, teeth with large fillings, and teeth that have undergone root canal treatment. Cracks can cause the teeth to be sensitive to cold or you may feel a “zing” when chewing on it.

Erosion

Erosion is the chemical wear of tooth enamel. This may be caused by regularly drinking pop or eating “sour” candies. All pop contains phosphoric acid, even diet pop. Sucking on “sour” candies with sugar and citric acid such as “fruit roll ups”, “sour patch kids”, and “sour gummy worms” dissolves away tooth enamel and causes erosion. Stomach acids can also cause wear during acid reflux and repeated induced vomiting in the case of bulimia. Our photo shows how we fill in several eroded areas in a 6 year molar that were causing sensitivity while chewing.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea (stopping of breathing) and snoring treatment is the fastest growing area in the dental field today. Research has shown that 67% of people snore. A large percentage of those individuals also have a restricted airway space causing sleep apnea. This can have an effect on your general health. Sleep apnea has been linked to high blood pressure as well as high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood. A sleep study test is needed to determine if someone has episodes of apnea or if they are just snoring. A CPAP machine is the standard treatment for sleep apnea. The facemasks on the CPAP are sometimes hard to wear and sleep with, but with dental technology there are now other options. There are several styles of appliances that can be worn at night to open the airway which are smaller than a CPAP machine and more convenient to travel with.

Tooth brush abrasion

Is the wearing away of tooth enamel caused by brushing too hard, too frequently, or with too much force. The use of abrasive toothpaste can also lead to loss of enamel, so check with your dentist for an ADA approved non-abrasive toothpaste. Your toothpaste should feel “chalky” after brushing; if it feels “gritty” it may be too abrasive.