- Teeth darken in color as a result of staining.
- The stains are usually brown, yellow and orange, or combinations of these colors.
- Pigments in food cause a gradual darkening of teeth. Tea and coffee are the most common causes of discoloration.
- Smoking causes severe staining. The nicotine sticks to the teeth,and is difficult to remove.
- When nerves and blood vessels in the teeth die, the teeth become grey or black.
- Some antibiotics taken over long periods can stain teeth grey.
- Normal eating eventually causes the chewing and biting surfaces of teeth to be worn down.
- The teeth become flattened and shorter.
- Attrition is the name given to this kind of tooth wear.
- Bruxism is a condition marked by the involuntary habit of grinding and clenching of teeth, often during sleep. It causes serious tooth wear that can result in the loss of teeth, and jaw-joint pain.
- Abrasion is the wearing away of the tooth surface at the gum line.
- Brushing teeth too vigorously is the cause.
- Abrasion and attrition cause the sensitive dentine layer of the tooth to be exposed.
- Tooth sensitivity
- This can be caused by teeth wearing down and the dentine becoming exposed.
- Sensitivity to hot, cold and sweet foods and drinks causes pain.
- This pain can be sharp, but will stop when the cause is removed,i.e. when the food or drink is no longer in the mouth
o Gum disease
- Most people have gum disease at some time or other.
- Gum recession, or shrinkage results from gum disease.
- Untreated gum disease causes the gum to lose its original attachment to the tooth.
- The gum then reattaches itself to the tooth at a lower level.
- The tooth then looks longer.
- As a result of gum shrinkage, spaces appear between the teeth where the gums used to be.
- The gums will bleed easily, and the teeth will become loose.
o Bone recession (shrinkage)
- The bone around the teeth will be affected by gum disease.
- The tooth loses its supporting bone, and becomes loose.
- Gum and bone disease (periodontitis) are major causes of toothloss.>