Tucson Tooth Wear Dentist
We restore worn and short teeth for improved appearance, function, and longevity!
What causes short teeth?
Short teeth can impact your confidence and also cause problems with eating and speaking. This issue can be caused by genetics or can develop over time as a result of abnormal tooth wear from bruxism (grind), chewing, or chemical breakdown. Another cause for short teeth is oversized gums. In this instance, the teeth are not actually small, they just appear that way because they are covered by pink gum tissue. Identifying the cause of your short teeth is important so the root cause can be addressed. Once identified, we will use state-of-the-art dental treatments to restore the appearance and function of your smile.
Short teeth as a result of chemical breakdown and physical wear
Erosive tooth Wear (chemical)
Erosive wear can occur if teeth are regularly exposed to acidic substances. This can be intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic erosive tooth wear occurs due to exposure to gastric (stomach) acids over time. One possible cause is gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), which is a condition where stomach acid comes up into the esophagus and ultimately the mouth. Intrinsic erosive wear can also occur from excessive vomiting due to alcoholism, bulimia, or pregnancy. Extrinsic erosion is when the acidic environment in your mouth is the result of foods and beverages you’re consuming, like citrus fruits, vinaigrette dressing, drinking soda, lemonade, and sports drinks. Read a more in-depth article on acid food here.
Abrasive Wear (physical and bite-related)
Abrasive wear occurs due to physical pressure on your teeth. One common cause is bruxism, which is when you unconsciously grind or clench your teeth. Bruxism often occurs at night and can occur along with other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. If your teeth are misaligned, uneven bite forces when chewing can accelerate the wear of specific teeth, causing these to be shorter than the teeth around them. This type of wear is very common on lower front teeth where there is crowding.
Short teeth resulting from excessive gum tissue covering teeth
Short teeth can be the result of extra gum tissue that is covering a normal sized tooth. It could be your gums are inflamed and swollen and need a good cleaning in order to reduce swelling and inflammation. Another reason for excessive gum tissue covering teeth is that the teeth have not fully erupted through the gum tissue and bone like normal. If you are young and still growing, sometimes more time is needed. If you are fully grown, a gum lift is a cosmetic procedure that removes excess tissue to show more of your white tooth structure hiding underneath the gums.
Treatments for Short & Worn Teeth?
If you are unhappy with your smile due to short or worn teeth, there are many treatments available.
It is important to address the cause of your small teeth, because oftentimes there are longevity and functional benefits in addition to improvements in appearance. If your short teeth are due to wear from abrasion, erosion, or both, addressing this issue can help prevent further damage to any restorations and preserve your new smile for longer. Treatments may include:
- ESmile design
- EFull-mouth reconstruction
- EBite guard and use of a prescription fluoride toothpastes
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do my teeth look worn down?
The enamel that protects the tooth is worn away by a variety of factors. As it wears, the dentin becomes exposed and can cause sensitivity in the teeth. This may be caused by clenching of the jaw or bruxism (tooth grinding), an acidic environment in the mouth, or chewing patterns that are destructive.
How can I keep my teeth from wearing down?
It’s also a good idea to make regular visits with your dentist for checkups, as well as for any necessary dental work, but finding a dentist who understands occlusion, bite issues, and etiologies of tooth wear can give you the best guidance, whether it’s dietary, GERD, bite-related, or night-time grinding. All of these can be silently and slowly causing damage, but a trained eye can pick up tell-tale signs and patterns to make a diagnosis.
PATIENT STORIES: Myra
“I worked with Dr. Raymond on a plan to rebuild my mouth. I had braces, implants and veneers. I cannot express how hard they work to make you comfortable and understand what is happening. ”