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Shaping Up Teeth – Part 3 – Preventing Self-Harm of Teeth – Increase the Vertical Dimension – The Causes

August 17, 2020

Sometimes people are their own worst enemy.

A history of heavy grinding of teeth can cause damage to the tooth structure by wearing it away or even cracking the tooth. Existing fillings may also suffer the same fate. Even trying to place new fillings may be difficult due to the lack of room. The thinner the filling the more likely it will fail under the pressure of the bite. 

This excessive loading can even causes crowns to crack and implants to fail. Denture teeth can break off and the denture itself can break.

The bite also can collapse with the loss of teeth, putting more load on the remaining teeth and even causing them to move or tilt.

Severely worn teeth loss of teeth drifted teeth and deep bite

Essentially a shark tooth bite occurs where a V-shaped bite is formed locking the teeth into each other. The bite has no freedom to move as the teeth have been worn into an almost locking bite.

The underlying problem is as the bite wears down the jaw bones come closer together. The pressure the jaw biting/closing muscles generate increases with the wear and tear.

This can lead to headaches from the overactive muscle which can lead to spasms or trismus. Also pain in the teeth occurs from the overloading of the bite by this pressure, and also from internal problems such as cracks and wear sensitivity.

Upper photos - orange brown areas - worn exposed sensitive areas; Lower photos - worn lower teeth and worn grooves back of upper front teeth

The bite has become pathological.

What can we do?

We can build up the bite with bonded tooth coloured materials. This is called increasing the vertical dimension.

This prevents the jaws from over closing and reducing the pressure on the teeth, fillings, dentures, crowns, bridges and implants.

Tooth coloured filling build up on the worn teeth - blue ink marks now indicating light even bite

Need an Appointment?

If you’d like to book an appointment with the dentist at Seymour Dental then call us in Dulwich Hill, Sydney on (02) 9564 2397 or
contact us

Next week

Shaping Up Teeth - Part 4 - Preventing Self-Harm of Teeth - Increase the Vertical Dimension - The Treatment