The cliche saying, "You're getting long in the tooth" means you are getting older. So, does getting short in the tooth mean you are getting younger? Unfortunately, it does not. What it does mean though is that you have a dental issue which needs to be addressed. As someone who has noticed your teeth are getting shorter, you are wondering what is causing it and what you can do about it. Here are the main pointers you need to know about shrinking teeth.
Why Are My Teeth Shortening?
There are three main reasons why teeth get shorter over a period of time, and they are:
- Some type of abrasion is wearing your teeth down. This could be caused by excessive brushing, or by brushing vertically instead of horizontally.
- Bruxism makes your teeth shorter because you are grinding them together. Each time you grind your teeth, small particles fall off.
- Enamel erosion caused by excessive sugar consumption is another culprit. Too much sugar from sweet drinks, fruit and lollies all contribute to shorter teeth.
Are Short Teeth A Problem?
There are two main reasons why you want to address teeth shortening when it has been noticed. Firstly, there is the aesthetic issue which may cause confidence issues over time. Secondly, you do not want your teeth to erode to a point where they meet the gum line. The longer your teeth, the more repair options you have open to you. If teeth get too short, then they have to be removed, and your only options for repair are dentures, dental bridges or implants.
How Are Short Teeth Repaired?
If your teeth do not need to be removed as mentioned above, then a cosmetic dentist can repair the damaged teeth in one of two ways. Either you can be fitted with veneers, which are thin porcelain strips adhered to the front of your teeth. Or, your dentist can make a tooth cap which fits over the top of the damaged tooth. Each of these options attaches to the existing tooth and reverts them to their natural length. After the tooth is repaired, you also need to learn how to prevent the damage from happening again, and your dentist can help you with that.
When you notice your teeth are getting shorter, do not delay having a consultation with a cosmetic dentist. The sooner you get the issue addressed, the faster you can stop the damage in its tracks and arrange for your teeth to look long again.