My teeth seem to be wearing down

Why are my teeth getting shorter?

This is the most commonly heard question from patients whose teeth are wearing down.

There is a difference between teeth wearing down and teeth wearing out. When teeth wear out they start to break around existing fillings. When teeth wear down they actually become shorter.

There are 2 main reasons why this happens

  • constant tooth grinding – over a period of many decades
  • acid erosion – generally from reflux of stomach acid  (GERD/GORD)
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Why is fixing this good for your health?

We need teeth to eat: teeth are covered by enamel for a good reason, it is an extremely hard and durable substance, enabling us to eat all the foods we need for health. Teeth which are wearing down generally have a lot of dentine exposed, a much softer tooth substance which allows the wearing out process to accelerate. Some patients have their front teeth worn right down to gum level.

We need teeth to smile: particularly at the front an attractive appearance of the teeth depends on an ideal proportion. Wearing down of the front teeth cause the teeth to look too short and quite often this is the reason why people seek treatment. In the front teeth the effect is just that bit more obvious.

How healthy should I expect my teeth to be?

The peak of tooth function and appearance occurs during the teenage years.

This was a time when the teeth were at their peak of function, health and aesthetic appearance. A time when you were able to take your health, and seamless function, for granted.

The ideal treatment outcome involves recreating the health of the mouth that the patient had when they were a teenager.

OK, I get it, now what's the next step?

It is essential, before committing to any treatment, to test drive how the teeth will look after everything has been done.

Casts of your teeth are recorded, then a mock-up is done by rebuilding the teeth on the cast to ideal length and proportions – replacing the enamel that has been lost, then reproducing this in the mouth.

This will allow you to see how the finished tooth will look, and the dentist to see how the bite will function.

It’s an outstanding process for achieving success in full mouth rehabilitation.

Front teeth wearing down Worn front teeth, after ideal restoration
Call us now on 03 5303 9999

Teeth wearing down is one of those insidious problems which is easy to put off until another day. Like any medical problem the earlier you deal with it the less treatment you will need. Sometimes treatment is limited to advice only.

How can we help?