The repetitive grinding of teeth and clenching of teeth can lead to headaches, jaw pain, and toothpain. Untreated bruxism will slowly remove the enamel of your teeth and grind the top of the teeth, often leading to wear, chipping, and cracking. Once the enamel has been worn down, there is a higher risk of tooth decay.
And sadly, once tooth enamel has eroded, it’s gone!
The human body’s pretty amazing: Broken skin heals; cut nails and hair grow back again; fractured bones knit together. But as amazing as the body’s ability to repair itself may be, it can’t regrow tooth enamel. Ever.
Tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in the body. The problem is, it’s not living tissue, so it can’t be naturally regenerated. And you can’t regrow it artificially, either – not even with those special toothpastes that claim to regenerate it.
So what can you do if you’re bruxing and you’re conscious of your tooth enamel wearing away?
Secondly, let’s look at ways we can strengthen teeth. As we said previously, you can’t regrow enamel, but you can certainly help ‘remineralise it’ (the natural process by which your body replenishes tooth enamel).
1. Eat calcium-rich foods.
Calcium is essential for strong, healthy teeth because it helps remineralise enamel. Incorporate a healthy amount of dairy products, leafy greens, and nuts into your diet.
2. Drink water instead of soda or juice.
Acidic drinks like soda and fruit juice wear away enamel, which can contribute to yellowing of your teeth. Water is a much more enamel-friendly choice.
3. Avoid foods and drinks that stain enamel.
Things like dark soda, red wine, tomatoes, and coffee contain a combination of acids and pigments that can discolour or weaken your enamel.
4. Don’t forget about the rest of your mouth.
Good oral care is more than just proper brushing. Remember to floss and brush your tongue – because a healthy mouth and gums help keep teeth healthy and white, too.
Thirdly, if your teeth have been damaged by bruxism, and you’re concerned by how they look, porcelain veneers offer an option to address lost tooth enamel. Porcelain is a solid and durable material, and can improve a variety of imperfections of the teeth. Just be aware that if you were using a night guard to tackle your bruxism before having veneers fitted, your night guard will need to be reshaped by your dentist to fit your new teeth! After spending money on veneers you don’t want to lose that investment by continuing to grind!