Short In The Tooth: Why Your Teeth Are Getting Shorter

Have you noticed that your teeth seem to be shrinking or getting shorter? Over time, everyone experiences some wear and tear of their teeth. And one of the signs that teeth have become worn is when they appear shorter than normal. In some cases, one or two teeth may be shorter than the teeth around them. This is because the enamel layer has worn away due to some form of wear.

If your teeth appear shorter than before, then this may be due to one or more of the following causes.

You may be grinding your teeth

There are two types of grinding that wear teeth down over time. The first type is bruxism or nocturnal grinding. Bruxism occurs while you sleep and is an unconscious action caused by stress or by crooked teeth. For instance, in the case of crooked teeth, your jaw grinds together while you sleep, seeking correct jaw alignment. Over time, the constant grinding wears your teeth down.

The second form of grinding happens when you perform a strenuous or stressful task, such as weight lifting. For both forms of tooth grinding, you can purchase a mouth guard from your dentist to protect your teeth from damage.

Your diet may be high in acidic foods and drinks

Certain foods and drinks, such as citrus fruits, ketchup, and soft drinks contain high amounts of acid. This acid gradually breaks down the enamel layer of your teeth. In severe cases, the erosion is so bad that the dentin layer, the soft spongy layer under your enamel, becomes exposed. Although saliva does neutralize acids, if you regularly partake of acidic foods or beverages, your saliva can't keep up.

The best way to halt this kind of erosion is to limit your intake of acidic foods and drinks. And whenever you do eat or drink something acidic, drink water or eat something afterwards to stimulate saliva production. 

You may be brushing your teeth with too much force

Some people brush their teeth with so much force that they wear away the enamel layer of their teeth. Although this process is gradual and most often occurs at the gum line, aggressive brushing can shorten teeth, affecting their appearance and leaving them at increased risk of tooth decay.

Choose a toothbrush with softer bristles and brush with less force if this is the cause of your shortened teeth.

If your teeth are shorter than before, you can do something about it with the help of your dentist. A dentist can treat worn down teeth in several ways, such as through composite bonding or porcelain veneers. Talk to a dentist today to go through the options at your disposal.