What are the causes of gum line erosion and decay?
A common tooth problem with adults over the age of 35 is erosion or decay along the gum line. Erosions are groves in your teeth that appear along the gum line.
Dentists disagree what causes these grooves, but there are two main lines of thought. One group thinks they are caused by grinding and the other group thinks they are caused by excessive brushing. I believe they are caused by both and will explain how to resolve this problem.
The best way to reduce grinding your teeth is to reduce your stress and calm down. In reality, most grinding is done in your sleep. You should consider wearing a bite plate to reduce nighttime grinding.
Thorough, gentle brushing for two minuets, twice a day with a soft toothbrush is how you should clean your teeth. You will want to find a good, quality brush marked “soft.” If you are using anything else, you should stop right now and put it in the garbage.
Why should you fix these defects?
Some of these are very sensitive. Restoring them reduces the sensitivity. Deep grooves undermine the tooth structure and can cause fracture of the tooth. I believe anything over one millimeter deep should be restored to keep the grooves from getting any deeper.
How are they restored?
I usually use tooth colored material for these fillings. Several small grooves are placed in the defects and the enamel margins are beveled. The grooves help to hold the restoration in mechanically. The bevel exposes more enamel for bonding and helps to hide the junction between the tooth and the filling.
All fillings you get to help resolve this problem should be bonded. These fillings rely on this bond to keep the restorations sealed and reduce future decay. The filling should be bonded in and shaped with small burs and then polished with special disks. The teeth are restored and the fillings will often be hard to detect.