The crowns of your teeth are made up of three layers: enamel, dentin, and pulp. Enamel is the outer layer, which is also the also the hardest substance in your body. The dentin is the next layer, which is softer than enamel, containing the nerve endings and dentinal tubules extending from the pulp chamber. The pulp is the inner core of the tooth, where the nerves and blood vessels are located. Maintaining the integrity of the enamel is very important for preservation of the teeth as a whole. Parafunctional habits such as nighttime bruxism (grinding/clenching), nail biting, ice chewing, or anything else that doesn’t involve eating food, talking, and smiling, will wear the enamel away, making the tooth susceptible to fracture and decay. One of the most common and more destructive habits we find is the nighttime grinding. In severe cases, as much as half of the tooth structure is completely gone! Remember, it’s not normal for the teeth to wear down, even with old age. The key to fixing these problems is preventing them altogether. Having a night guard made and wearing it daily will equate to a large return on investment. Learn more about night guards here.