Teeth Care

Why Are My Teeth Getting Shorter?

short teeth from bruxism

Why are my teeth getting shorter?

Checked and updated for accuracy on 02/03/23

When Glamour magazine ran an article last month about preventative aging & the benefits of wearing a night guard, many became enlightened to one of the sneakiest signs of aging; teeth grinding and as a result, teeth shortening.

The wearing down of teeth is a natural sign of aging. As life goes on, our teeth gradually wear down, become more uneven and more susceptible to yellowing/staining. This can be a slow transformation or a faster one depending on several factors including a person’s genetics and teeth grinding habits.

Causes of the wearing down of teeth

Attrition, abrasion and erosion are all contributors to the shortening of teeth. This can have a less than desirable effect on your smile and self esteem! The shortening of teeth can even effect your bite.

Teeth grinding and clenching can speed up the flattening of teeth. This common subconscious act affects 10% of the population and can also make your teeth more vulnerable to cracking/breakage.

Do shorter teeth make me look older?

The shortening of teeth can cause an aged appearance. The lips sag inward and the distance between the nose and chin shortens. Facial sagging causes a person to show less of their teeth when they smile.

What can I do to prevent teeth shortening?

There is one constantly overlooked anti-aging secret that works to protect your teeth from shortening.

Wear a Dental Night Guard.

How does it work?

By wearing a dental night guard at night you are protecting the teeth from wearing down and teeth flattening.

Flat Teeth and Chipping are common signs of long term teeth grinding and jaw clenching

Our Skin Is Nothing Without Good Bones, Muscles and Teeth Structure

Sometimes we forget that our skin is just a vessel for our bones and muscles. If a person undergoes changes to the teeth, whether they have them removed (and replace with dentures) or if the teeth have become much shorter over time,  it is common to notice sagging skin around the mouth and chin.

Physically, teeth grinding can have some long lasting effects. After years of wearing the teeth down, the face can develop a noticeable sagging appearance that cannot be fixed with anything less than expensive cosmetic work.

The Problem With Short Teeth 

It’s no secret that our teeth play a big role in the overall appearance of the face. The wearing down of teeth because of grinding and or clenching is a tell-tale sign of aging.

Simply put, teeth that are too short can absolutely make us look older.

Other notable characteristics that can occur from teeth grinding are an enlarged jaw muscle (protrusion), and stress lines around the mouth.

Check to see if your teeth are too short

Stand in front of a mirror with your lips slightly apart in a relaxed position. If you relax your mouth and just leave it agape slightly, there should be between 1-3mm of tooth exposure.

Do you see a little bit of your front teeth? If you do not, your teeth may be too short. This is not always a result of teeth grinding. This can simply be your natural dental anatomy. If you wish to have your teeth extended you can opt for direct bonding or porcelain veneers.

Some Good News

It’s preventative.

A night guard acts as a preventative to the effects of teeth grinding and teeth aging. Think of it as putting your teeth in a perfectly fitting case each night before bed so that they remain safe and protected against well…yourself.

wearing a dental night guard will prevent teeth shortening

Simply wearing a night guard at night will prevent your teeth from wearing down. 1 in 10 people grind their teeth at night. A custom made dental guard is far less expensive than restorative cosmetic work. Preserve your teeth & face & prevent teeth flattening the natural way. It’s just as important and routine as putting face moisturizer on at night  to prevent dryness and excess wrinkles.

You’ve Decided To Wear A Night Guard? Great!

How to keep your night guard clean and bacteria free

As you probably well know, wet and dark places are a great breeding ground for bacteria. Your night guard can go from a nice clear to yellow and smelly in a matter of months. Make sure you store your night guard in its original case.

Clean with a soft toothbrush and a little toothpaste. Rinse thoroughly and store dry. Dry is the secret to a clean long lasting night guard. You do not want water sitting in your guard night after night. Additionally, Efferdent makes a really great denture/retainer cleaner you can use once a week to preserve the life of your guard.

Additional anti-aging tips

Take Care of Yourself In A Natural Way 

Consumers will spend 290 billion  dollars this year (globally) on anti-aging products. There is always a latest and greatest product that claims reverse aging results. We think the best way to keep that healthy young look can be achieved spending as little money as possible.

Some tips to prolonging life spans and living well include:

Other reasons to wear a dental night guard at night

Wearing a night guard has so many benefits! It prevents cracking and breaking of natural teeth and dental work. It will protect a new set of porcelain veneers, bonding, crowns & bridge work. If you wake up in the morning with jaw soreness, tension or pain this can be a sign that you’re either clenching your teeth at night or grinding them together. Overtime, this will lead to teeth flattening.

For more information about how to protect your teeth from teeth shortening, breakage, cracking and further damage, contact Sentinel Mouthguards today!


sentinel mouthguards author
Ashely Notarmaso

Ashely Notarmaso is the author behind the Sentinel Mouth Guard Blog. She is the CEO and founder of Sentinel Mouth Guards (Founded in 2012) Her long-time work in the dental mouth guard arena and her excellent ability to listen to customer concerns in this often contradictory field has laid the groundwork to explore night guard/mouth guard fabrication in-depth and address real concerns. With the help of her team, she has created a unique fabrication method that promises a great fitting custom oral appliance every time. Amazon’s choice for #1 mouth guard! Visit the online store http://sentinelmouthguards.com

Verified By

medically reviewed by dr lara coseo
Dr. Lara Coseo, DDS, FAGD

Doctor of Dental Surgery
Baylor College of Dentistry

Dr. Lara Coseo earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Baylor College of Dentistry in 2004, and she was awarded a Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry in 2014. Dr. Lara retired from private practice in 2017 after being diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a degenerative retinal disease causing rapid central vision loss. Despite her inability to perform dentistry, she remains passionate about patient education and all aspects of general dentistry. She would love to help you build relationships with your patients through blogging and social media.