If you have deep tooth staining that does not resolve even after professional whitening procedures, or if your teeth are misshapen or broken, your dentist may recommend that you get porcelain dental veneers. These restorations fit over your natural teeth to hide imperfections, and while very durable, they typically do not last a lifetime.
Veneers are usually more resistant than your own teeth to everyday wear and tear; however, there are certain health conditions and their treatments that may warrant replacement. Here are three medical conditions and treatments that may harm your dental veneers and what you can do about them:
Acid Reflux Disease
Acid reflux disease causes irritating gastric acid to migrate up into the upper digestive tract. If you have chronic heartburn that is accompanied by constant throat clearing, coughing, a bad taste in your mouth, hypersalivation, or nausea, you may have acid reflux disease. In severe cases, stomach acid can reflux high into the throat and even reach the mouth and teeth.
When this occurs, your natural teeth and porcelain dental veneers may become damaged as a result of acid erosion. While veneers are generally more resistant than your natural teeth to stomach acid, the surface of your veneers may eventually show signs of acid erosion.
If you have acid reflux disease, avoid trigger foods such as chocolate, citrus fruits, coffee, peppermint, onions, and garlic. Cutting down on cigarette smoking and limiting your intake of alcoholic beverages may also help reduce your acid reflux symptoms. In addition, take your prescribed medications as instructed by your physician, and try to maintain a healthy weight.
Seizure disorders such as epilepsy are typically managed with anti-convulsant medications. While effective in reducing the number of seizures as well as their intensity, anti-convulsant medications often lead to undesirable side effects. In addition to sleepiness, dizziness, confusion, and blurred vision, these medications can raise the risk for gum problems such as gingival overgrowth.
This condition causes the gum tissue to grow out of control, and in certain cases, the gums can grow over the teeth, obscuring your dental veneers. This makes it difficult to maintain proper oral hygiene such as brushing and flossing. Like your natural teeth, veneers require care and cleaning, and when you are unable to effectively brush your veneers, the porcelain or resin surface may break down.
If your anti-convulsant medication is causing problems with your gums, your physician may decide to either lower the dosage or prescribe a different medication to control your seizures which may be less likely to lead to gingival overgrowth.
Certain autoimmune diseases can cause salivary gland dysfunction. When this occurs, your salivary glands may be unable to produce sufficient amounts of saliva, leaving your oral cavity dry and susceptible to bacterial buildup.
Adequate amounts of saliva help wash away microorganisms that are responsible for tooth decay, gum disease, and oral infection. Subsequently, when your mouth is too dry, you may be more prone to developing one or more of these problems.
Cavities, gingivitis, and infections in your mouth not only affect your natural teeth, but they can also cause problems with your veneers. If you develop a cavity or infection underneath your dental restoration, it may need to be removed in order to treat the affected area of your natural tooth.
If you have an autoimmune disorder, your dentist may recommend a moistening mouthwash to help prevent dry mouth. This will not only help keep you more comfortable, but it may also extend the life of your veneers.
If you have any of the above health conditions, work with both your dentist and physician to develop an effective treatment plan. When your medical conditions are well-managed, they are less likely to affect your dental restorations, including your porcelain veneers.