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What causes a tooth to be too high? – Dr Joy Liu

October 1, 2018

I often hear patients say, “my tooth seems to be longer?”. What can cause a tooth to be too high? In this blog article, we will answer this question in more detail:

  1. The filling is too high – if a tooth has had a recent filling, it may be possible that the filling is left a bit high; this is because when you are numb, it is hard to check the normal bite.
  2. If the filling is an old silver (amalgam) filling, the material may expand over time and become misshapen with usage. This also may eventually cause the filling to become too high.

Either way, we can adjust it easily here for you.

High spot on amalgam filling marked blue
  1. Trauma – injury can cause tooth to shift and move out of its normal position. It is strongly advised if you or your loved ones experience trauma that potentially involves the tooth, you come and see us about the tooth as soon as possible. Early intervention is the key to saving the tooth!
Knocked out tooth placed back notice bruising in gums and lip
  1. Gum disease – infections in the gum may lead to loss of the bone that supports around the tooth. When the bone shrinks, the tooth loses its foundation and will become loose over time. The end stage of gum disease is tooth loss. There is no way to save the tooth if there is no bone. This is why we advocate for a six-monthly checkup and clean at the dentist!
  2. Cracked tooth – if a tooth is noticeably cracked, the cracked bits may sit more outside of the tooth and feel high. A cracked tooth can be difficult to treat. If the tooth is still savable, we recommend a crown to protect the tooth. We also highly recommend the use of a mouth guard (for sports) and occlusal splint (night guard) for those who live a stressful life and prone to cracked tooth.
Cracked cusp
Mouth guard
  1. Infection under the tooth as a result of the nerve (pulp) dying may cause swelling at the end of the root tip and push the tooth out of the socket. This requires a root canal treatment or an extraction. Sometimes during root canal treatment, the end of the root tip may get inflamed and push the tooth up. This may mean only an adjustment to the tooth to relieve the discomfort.
  2. Excessive grinding habit may cause the tooth the tooth to move and become too high for the jaw to move freely. An adjustment or an occlusal splint may be necessary.
Xray - 1st molar root canal sealed and 2nd molar files in canal to check lengths
The most important message is not ignore a tooth that feels high, but seek dental advice and treatment.

– Dr Joy Liu

Next week

What causes pain after a filling - Dr Joy Liu