If you notice indentions or craters on the surfaces of your back teeth, you may be experiencing molar cupping. Molar cupping can be a telltale sign of acid erosion or bruxism (teeth grinding). In either case, you’ll need to adjust your habits to prevent further damage to your smile.
If you have molar cupping, also referred to as “dental potholes,” you may notice a change in the way your teeth bite together or you may feel that your dental fillings have become loose. There are restorative dental procedures to repair the structural damage of these affected teeth, but you’ll also need to determine what’s causing your cupping problem.
Causes of Molar Cupping
Acid erosion is a popular culprit to molar cupping. This occurs in patients who regularly consume a diet of high acidity. Anything that has a pH below 5.5 can technically erode tooth enamel. The amount of time that the substance remains on your teeth is also a contributing factor.
Examine the drinks and foods you consume on a daily basis. Are they acidic? Wine, sodas, pickles and citrus fruits can erode your enamel or cause cupping. If you must indulge, be sure to rinse with water afterwards or grab a stick of sugarless gum. Triggering extra saliva production will help neutralize the acids in your mouth.
While your diet is the most likely source for your acid erosion, don’t dismiss the possibility that the dental threat is coming from your gut. Acid reflux is also a possible contributor for molar cupping. In such cases, it is best to talk to a physician about getting your digestive system properly managed.
Mechanical abrasion is yet another leading factor in molar cupping. This can happen in patients who have a nighttime teeth grinding habit. Bruxism causes excessive wear on the chewing surfaces of your teeth, and it can also lead to morning headaches and TMJ disorder. A custom nighttime mouth guard can prevent future molar cupping in this case.
Seek Treatment Early
At Marietta Dental Professionals, we are committed to helping you attain your strongest, most comfortable smile. If you notice signs of molar cupping, please see us as soon as possible. Not only can we suggest a restorative dental procedure, but we can also help you establish healthier dental habits to prevent further tooth damage.