Tooth wear can occur because of a single cause, or it can be brought on by a combination of factors acting all at once. During the dental examination, your dentist will try to figure out all the probable causes of your tooth wear and work with you to address those causes. Along with fixing the worn tooth, fixing the underlying cause is vital for successful treatment. Some reasons for tooth wear are:

Teeth grinding and Jaw clenching habits: Constant grinding or clenching your teeth can put undue pressure on the teeth and cause wear and tear. Due to the friction generated, small micro-cracks appear on the enamel, which then becomes pathways for entry of acids, further destroying the enamel. With time, the cracked areas become more at risk of wearing out. 

Stress: Sometimes, jaw clenching and teeth grinding are aggravated by stress. Increased anxiety and stress levels need to be managed because they can harm your dentition. 

Forceful brushing habit: Brushing cleans off the build-up of plaque and bacteria on the teeth—however, improper brushing techniques can damage the tooth surface. Forceful brushing causes the outer layer of the tooth enamel to wear out. This is why dentists suggest using a medium to a soft-bristled toothbrush instead of a hard-bristled toothbrush for everyday use. 

Physical Abrasives: Constantly taking hard objects in between your teeth can cause enamel wear. Biting on bottle caps, pens, pencils, toothpicks, safety pins, and even fingernails can cause parts of your tooth to wear down. 

Excessive consumption of sugar and acidic food: Sugars in your food and beverages cause the enamel to become weak. Bacteria that stick to the tooth surfaces eat the sugar and make acids from it, which dissolves the tooth, bit by bit. Drinking sugary fruit juices, sodas, and energy drinks also alters the mouth’s pH, making it more acidic. As a result, the enamel is more prone to wearing out with forceful brushing or teeth grinding habits. Swishing around these in the mouth is even more harmful, so it’s better to down such drinks quickly than sipping on them slowly. 

Eating and gastrointestinal disorders: Some people experience frequent indigestion. Strong acids from the stomach travel up through the food pipe and into the mouth, causing enamel erosion on the inner aspects of the teeth and roof of the mouth. Acid reflux is a common cause of concern for weak, brittle, and yellow teeth. People with eating disorders like bulimia or chronic vomiting bring up the stomach’s acidic contents into the mouth. This is also quite harmful to the teeth. 


  • Dental bonding: Dental bonding, tooth bonding, or composite bonding involves building up the worn-down tooth surfaces with a tooth-colored material. The tooth colored material is matched to the tooth shade. It improves the tooth’s appearance and corrects any bite problems that contribute to chewing difficulties or jaw aches. Composite build-ups are an excellent option for mild-to-moderate tooth wear; however, if tooth wear is severe, you might need more complex treatments such as ceramic onlays to protect the teeth better. Dental bondings can also stain over time and need to be polished or repaired from time to time.  
  • Onlays: custom-made ceramic or composite, these are then bonded onto the biting surface of the back teeth.
  • Crowns: With severe tooth wear, it becomes impossible to build up the tooth with dental bonding as there is very little tooth structure to support it. Further, there are greater chances of dental bonding breaking or getting dislodged because of insufficient support. In such cases, dental crowns are a better alternative for you. They protect the teeth, enhance their look, and also fix the bite, all in one go. Crowns are long-lasting and stain-resistant. A well-maintained crown can last you easily 10-15 years. 
  • Veneers: Individuals who have tooth wear only on one surface of the teeth (either front or back) can benefit from veneers. Veneers are a minimally invasive treatment option and do not require much tooth trimming or reshaping. For example, people with an eating disorder like bulimia or chronic vomiting experience tooth wear on the inside surface of the upper front teeth. They can benefit from a type of veneer called palatal veneers, made of composite resin.