Treating Worn Down Teeth


Over time, the teeth will eventually display signs of wear and tear from everyday use. The teeth also wear down due to the natural aging process. Teeth which are worn down can be unsightly and damage a patient’s confidence. Damaged teeth can be misshaped, short, discolored, and even impact bite.


There are various treatments which can aid in treating worn down teeth. The most common treatments include the following:

  1. Crowns: A crown or cap is placed on top the damaged tooth or teeth. The natural tooth must be ground down in order for the crown to be placed.
  2. Dental bonding: A tooth-colored composite material is used to conceal cosmetic issues. Bonding can also be applied to the edges of the teeth to add length, when necessary.
  3. Veneers: Veneers are a thin piece of porcelain which is placed over the front surface of the teeth. They are typically used to improve the appearance of the front teeth.

Worn teeth are especially common as a patient ages. While some wear is a natural part of aging, outside factors like vigorous brushing, acidic foods and drinks, or misuse of the teeth can cause additional wear.


Below are some of the most common symptoms associated with worn-down teeth:

  • Loss of protective enamel
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Changes in the appearance
  • Chipping
  • Translucent teeth


The following are some of the most common causes of worn down teeth:


One of the most common causes of worn teeth is bruxism. Bruxism is a term used to describe chronic grinding or clenching of the teeth. In many cases, patients grind their teeth while they are sleeping and do not even realize they are doing it.



Another common cause of tooth wear is erosion. This can negatively impact the function and appearance of the teeth as erosion can cause the loss of tooth structure. In many cases, erosion is caused by consuming acidic foods and beverages. Erosion can also be caused by acids coming up from the stomach for patients with acid reflux.



Abrasion occurs when the teeth are worn down from external forces. This is commonly the result of excessive brushing, the use of a hard-bristled toothbrush, using the teeth to open things, chewing on fingernails, pens or other hard objects.



Attrition is caused by the teeth making contact with one another or tooth-to-tooth wear. It usually occurs on the biting edges of the teeth. Wear from attrition is typically from excessive clenching or grinding. This can occur to patients of all ages.


When worn teeth are not properly treated, it can result in additional deterioration and other types of long-term problems. This includes tooth sensitivity, infection, tooth restoration challenges, and problems with fillings.


If you have worn down teeth, schedule an appointment with a dentist to determine the cause. Once the issue is identified, the dentist can discuss your treatment options and help prevent further damage. If the worn down teeth are caused by bruxism, the dentist may suggest using a night guard. Additional treatments to restore worn down teeth may include composite resin bonding, cosmetic contouring, crowns, and veneers.


Veneers and Worn Down Teeth