By Susan Braden
Do you grind your teeth when you sleep? Do the surfaces of your teeth have a little wear and tear? If so, you may be at risk of a severe health issue. However, having a dental insurance plan may help you prevent one of the growing oral health problems in today’s society: dental attrition.
Attrition is the wear of the surface of the teeth. The problem itself can be treated for a decent price with an insurance plan, but it can also be a symptom of a bigger problem which could result in the failure of any restorations performed to fix the wear. Common causes of attrition are tooth grinding and malocclusion (the misalignment of teeth).
If you have a habit of grinding your teeth, attempt to find the source of the grinding, such as severe stress. This may involve using your health plan for medical attention. The problem should also be treated if it cannot be eliminated. In the case of malocclusion, orthodontics should be considered. Surgery may also be suggested in severe cases.
Severe attrition is a serious problem, especially if it involves all the teeth. The jaws can rotate together more than is normal, resulting in "bite collapse." This can damage or cause severe pain or dysfunction in the jaw joints. It can also cause tooth fractures, gum disease, an inverted smile, cracking or chapping at the corners of the mouth, and chewing problems.
Only a dentist can help you treat attrition. Using your dental insurance to save money on regular dentist visits can help you prevent this condition.