Now that people are retaining their natural teeth later in life the problem of tooth wear is increasing.
Tooth wear occurs when the surfaces of the natural teeth are abraded or dissolved. This is caused by many factors including acid erosion and attrition from grinding/clenching.
If left untreated, tooth wear can cause nerve problems in the worn teeth, collapse of the bite and aesthetic problems where the teeth seem to disappear under the lips giving a toothless look.
Tooth wear can be controlled by the use of night splints and addressing the causes. Often multiple teeth require restoration and the bite needs to be reconstructed.
A prosthodontist specialises in this difficult area of dentistry.