Have you noticed that one, or more, of your teeth is sharper than it should be? Perhaps these newly sharpened edges are irritating your tongue, cheeks or lips. If this is the case, don't worry, you aren't transforming into a creature of the night—unless of course you were recently bitten by a werewolf!
When a tooth that was once smooth along the edges suddenly feels rough and sharp, this sudden change is usually down to one of three causes.
Wear and Tear is Taking Its Toll
The dentine of your teeth is harder than the bones that make up your skeletal frame. It needs to be, since unlike your bones, your teeth are constantly crushing and tearing food. Researchers at Ohio State University suggested that you should chew soft food 5-10 times, and harder foods, such as carrots, broccoli and steak, up to 30 times per bite.
Even if you don't chew the recommended number of times per bite, your teeth are still under a lot of strain—especially if you chew gum or bite your nails. Although teeth tend to gradually wear down, like a set of stone steps, for example, they do sometimes chip or break. When this happens, they will feel sharper. You may need composite bonding to fix this problem.
Acid is Eroding Your Enamel
The enamel surface of your teeth may be eroding. Some erosion is normal over the lifetime of a tooth, but if a tooth suddenly becomes jagged or sharp, the level of erosion is more advanced than normal. Erosion is caused by acid.
Your teeth are exposed to acid in two ways. The bacteria in your mouth break down the sugars and carbs that you eat so that they can metabolize them, or eat them. They then produce acid. This acid eats away at the surfaces of your teeth. Acidic food and beverages, such as cola and sour candies, also erode enamel.
If this is the case, you need to improve your diet and oral hygiene practices as well as book an appointment with your dentist. You may need some fillings.
Nighttime Grinding Might Be to Blame
Some people grind their teeth at night. When people are stressed, they sometimes grind their teeth at night. When a person's teeth are not in alignment, this can also cause grinding as their jaw tries to correct the misalignment whilst they are sleeping.
Unfortunately, nighttime grinding, or bruxism, gradually wears teeth down. This is a serious issue because it affects all of a sufferer's teeth, leading to the potential need of extensive restoration. If several of your teeth feel sharper than usual, consult your dentist without delay. You may be suffering from bruxism.
Whatever the cause, it is likely a sign that something needs to change. First, book an appointment with your dentist so they can evaluate the damage and repair it if necessary.
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