Short and worn teeth can be caused by many factors such as erosion, grinding of teeth and in some cases both at once. Erosion refers to an acidic component usually through diet (fizzy drinks, sucking lemon wedges) or internally such as gastric reflux. The regular exposure of acid to your teeth will lead to “softening” of your teeth. Grinding refers to teeth on teeth contact usually during deep sleep but also occasionally when you are awake. Much like break pads on your car tires that will wear down when overused so will your natural tooth structure.
The biggest effect is reduced capacity for chewing. Fragile teeth are prone to fractures and cracks. As you wear your teeth down, it gets closer and closer to the nerve which sits in the middle of every tooth and therefore a common complaint from patients with worn teeth is sensitivity or nerve pain. Besides a decrease in functional capacity, it also results in unsightly teeth and embarrassed smiles. Treatment of this problem varies depending on the severity of the worn teeth. This can range from simple education to rehabilitation of teeth with crown and bridges, dental implants, porcelain veneers or a combination.