Lowenberg Lituchy & Kantor Cosmetic Dentistry Smile Photo

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Night Grinder

Jim:

I looked in the mirror one day and noticed that my two front teeth seemed shorter all of a sudden. Then I found myself checking them out every time I shaved. At first I thought I was imagining it, but then I realized the teeth next to them seemed shorter also. Wait a minute, didn't my eye teeth used to be pointy? Now they were flat. And then I realized the truth. My dentist had told me years ago I was a grinder, probably in my sleep because I never noticed myself grinding during the day. Whatever stress I was feeling during the day was obviously taking its toll on my teeth while I slept. At first I got a "nightguard" so I would protect my teeth, but the more I focused on the damage I had done, the more I realized it was time for a repair. When I learned that porcelain veneers could bring my teeth back to their original length, I struggled between wanting to renovate my mouth and feeling vain about doing something. But when someone mentioned they couldn't see my teeth when I smiled, I realized it was now or never. Now my teeth look the way they did in college and you know what? A little vanity isn't such a bad thing once in a while.

"Nervous energy and stress are the two biggest causes of tooth grinding"

Nervous energy and stress are the two biggest causes of tooth grinding. It's a habit that's hard to break so instead of trying to be psychologists and get to the root (no pun intended) of the matter, we recommend nightguards for our Type A patients. Often however, patients come to us after most of the damage has been done and their teeth are seriously worn from years of grinding. Typically men have square shape teeth (check out Denzel, Tom or Matthew) and very little difference in length between the front teeth and their next door neighbors, the laterals. It may be a cliché, but men tend to be more testosterone driven and competitive and aggressive. That aggression often finds a home in teeth grinding and we find a large number of men in our practice have "shortened" their teeth from grinding. But all is not lost. As in Jim's case, we can elongate all the front teeth with LLK veneers, restoring them to their original length and literally make any man (or woman) look more youthful with longer front teeth.