Tooth Wear: Signs, Causes, and Treatments
Posted on 02/02/2023

At Short Pump Dentistry, we're committed to helping all our patients achieve bright, healthy smiles. This is why we caution against tooth wear. It's a damaging process that can result in serious changes to both the structure and the appearance of your teeth, so it's important to recognize it, understand it, and treat it. A Henrico cosmetic dentist can help.

Who's at Risk for Tooth Wear?

The first thing to know about tooth wear is that it's a natural process. Many people will experience it during their life. Aging is a common cause, so just like vision and bone density can change in your senior years, so can the strength of your teeth.

This doesn't mean that you must sit back and encourage tooth wear, however. Taking preventative action can help you reduce its long-term impact. You can also eliminate the damage of tooth wear that's caused by your diet or your lifestyle habits.

What Causes Tooth Wear?

There are three major forms of tooth wear:


Dental attrition is caused by something called "tooth-to-tooth" contact. A common cause is teeth grinding or bruxism, but there can be many other origins, including excessive or damaging chewing activities.


Dental abrasion is wear that isn't caused by tooth-to-tooth contact. It could be improper brushing techniques, damage from trauma or tongue jewelry, and more.


Dental erosion is caused by chemicals. Simply put, it's when acids cause damage to the tooth enamel. Common causes include a poor diet and medical conditions like acid reflux.

What Are the Symptoms of Tooth Wear?

One of the first things that we'll do at Short Pump Dentistry is checked for signs of tooth wear. Sometimes, the damage is visible even to the untrained eye. Other times, there are subtler symptoms that you'll need a trained professional to point out.

Here are a few red flags for tooth wear:

  • Yellowing teeth
  • Teeth that appear to be receding or shortening
  • Teeth with a smooth or "glazed" appearance
  • Chips or craters in the teeth
  • Flattening teeth
  • Tooth Sensitivity

How Do You Treat Tooth Wear?

A Henrico cosmetic dentist can help you treat the effects of tooth wear. Your options will depend on the severity of the damage as well as things like your personal budget and preferences. Dental bonding, for example, can be used for minor imperfections that are affecting the appearance of your smile. Crowns and veneers might be needed for deeper damage that's starting to impact your actual tooth structure and oral health.

Getting a Bright White Smile in Virginia
If you need help with tooth wear, contact us at Short Pump Dentistry. Our dentists can help you fix the damage with a wide range of treatment options. Make the call today!