Why Are Your Teeth Worn Down on Only One Side?

Dentist Blog

Enamel is harder than bone and steel. That is just as well since human beings can generate a biting force of over 200 pounds. Three meals a day, plus the occasional snack then, means that your teeth are constantly under pressure. When you add to that the acid content and processed sugars contained in many modern foods, it's easy to see that teeth need to be stronger than steel.

Despite their great strength, teeth will gradually shrink due to wear and erosion. That fact is nothing new. However, if your teeth are more worn on one side than the other, you could be favouring the worn side more whilst chewing.

The Habitual Chewing Side

A study published in 2013 supported the use of a new term regarding the favouring of one side of the mouth while chewing. The "habitual chewing side syndrome" basically refers to the habit of a person to favor one side of the mouth over the other whilst chewing. Although the study in question focused on temporomandibular joint disorders, it is relevant to the issue of teeth that are worn on only one side.

It is common for people to favour one side of their mouth whilst chewing. This may be because they favour that side of their body in general, i.e., they may be right-handed and thus use the right side of their mouth to chew. However, if most of your chewing occurs on your favoured side, the result is that the teeth on that side will wear down faster than those on the less favoured side.

Favouring One Side Causes Facial Asymmetry

If the teeth on one side of your jaw are flatter and more worn than the other side, this will result in facial asymmetry. Your smile will be noticeably crooked. Your face may even be shorter on the worn side. Also, remember that the more you use a muscle, the larger that muscle becomes. Using one masseter (chewing) muscle more than the other then will cause a facial imbalance.

Practice Using the Other Side

Although it is not easy to break a habit, by consciously focusing on chewing evenly on both sides of your mouth, you can eventually develop a more even chewing habit. However, that won't remedy the damage that has already been done up to this point.

Fortunately, you can opt to use composite bonding to restore your worn teeth so that they are equal in size to the teeth on the previously less favoured side. Porcelain veneers for front teeth and porcelain crowns for rear teeth are also another option for teeth that are badly worn. To learn more, contact a local dentist.


11 December 2017

Dental Checkups: Preparing for Your Checkup

Hi! My name is Sarah, and as a busy professional, I understand the importance of making the most of my time. That includes everything from having productive working lunches to making the most of my dental checkups. I have created this blog to help you maximise your dental checkups. In these posts, you can learn how to prepare for your checkup, which questions to ask during your checkup and more. I am also going to have posts explaining why checkups are critical to your dental health as well as the health of your entire body. Happy reading, and thanks for visiting my blog!