Businessmen’s disease, Part 1
Recently I can find fewer and fewer cavities in my patients’ teeth. I know that this may sound funny or even ridiculously, but it is true. Of course, nobody has eliminated the secondary caries, occurring when the bond between a filling and a tooth is not airtight. Unfortunately, we – dentists – have made little contribution to the reduction in the prevalence of tooth decay. The improved health culture of modern societies, the multiple ongoing promotional campaigns of oral hygiene products, combined with the magnificent feeling of freshness after their use, did their hob.
Another issue is gaining speed – the excessive teeth grinding. What happens – teeth are ground down and dentine – the internal portion of the tooth – comes up to the surface. Sometimes this process can even reach tooth pulp (tooth’s nerve) and then the tooth dies on its own. Dentine is not designed to be in contact with the environment. It is a network of canals and quickly gets colored by food and drinks colorants. Furthermore, dentine is very soft, it is ground-down much more quickly than the enamel. When this process starts advancing quickly, this results in characteristic hollowing of the teeth, colored in various hues of brown. Very often slight, hardly noticeable fractures of the front teeth are among the first signs of this tissue.
We refer to it as businessmen’s disease, because it is often observed among busy people, with stressful jobs, who often clench their teeth under stress. This is also often seen in gyms, among actively practicing people and sportsmen, who also clench their teeth while practicing. However, it is often a case of complex factors, causing such excessive grinding. Apart from clenching teeth during sports practice and under stress, these factors also include: excessive consumption of citruses, carbonated drinks (particularly using straws), excessively frequent and aggressive oral hygiene. Orthodontic deformation (crooked teeth) significantly “contribute” to grinding, along with certain disorders, such as reflux (flowing of stomach acid back to the mouth), bulimia, etc.
Teeth that are subject to such excessive grinding must be restored, otherwise there is a risk that this process may aggravate and result in severely sensitive teeth, serious bite issues, which may have impact on the entire posture (body’s position in space), and which further increase teeth grinding. Some advanced cases may even result in tooth’s dying on its own, major tooth fractures, loss of teeth.
In the second part of this article, I will explain the treatment methods, how long you can rely on the applied treatment and how it is actually performed.