The Extreme Danger Of Reshaping Your Own Teeth

Dentist Blog

A request to reshape a patient's teeth is common in cosmetic dentistry. However, it appears that some people are mistaking self-applied cosmetics for cosmetic dentistry, and attempting to reshape their own teeth using various grooming implements, like nail files. This trend is being driven by online influencers, often with catastrophic results. But your teeth seem solid and healthy, so why can't you adjust them yourself? And what must you do if you've already filed your teeth?

All About Your Tooth

At the heart of a tooth is its pulp, which is its nerve. This contains blood vessels (so has its own blood supply) and has pain receptors. The pulp fills a pulp chamber, which is surrounded by a tooth structure called dentin. This is a strong material that contains tiny passages called tubules, and they allow the pulp to register sensations, alerting you to dental infections and similar. The clinical crown (visible part of the tooth) is its external surface, made of dental enamel. The ultra-strong enamel is the part of the tooth you clean (and perhaps whiten). When enamel is lost, the weaker internal parts of the tooth are exposed, and this is a dangerous situation.

Imprecise Results

Filing your own teeth removes enamel. You may even remove dentin. There's also the strong possibility that using a handheld file will lead to imprecise results. You may want to even up your teeth, remove the sharp point from a canine tooth, or make one upper incisor the same shape as your other upper incisor. Such exact tooth contouring is all but impossible with an amateur attempting self-treatment using a handheld tool not designed for the task. 

Extreme Danger

You can quickly strip away protective enamel and even a layer of the underlying dentin. If the tooth was experiencing decay, its structural integrity may already have been weakened, and so it may chip or crumble. The dentin's tubules have now been exposed, so the tooth's nerve is no longer isolated. You can expect extreme sensitivity—and even agonizing toothache. You must visit a cosmetic dentistry clinic to have your DIY dental work corrected.

Correcting DIY Dentistry

The tooth must be restored, and although your enamel has been permanently lost (it doesn't grow back), a cosmetic substitute can be added. Minor loss of tooth structure can be reversed via dental bonding, which is when your dentist applies a thin coat of dental resin to the tooth. This is what's used to fill cavities, and it's tooth-colored. It sets immediately and improves the appearance of your teeth while also protecting them from further decay. More significant loss of tooth structure can only be corrected with a dental crown—a porcelain cap fitted over the tooth.

If you've mistakenly filed your own teeth, don't assume that any pain or sensitivity will subside. It will only get worse, and you need to see a cosmetic dentist without delay.

For more information, contact a cosmetic dentistry service near you.


6 July 2023

Dentistry for the Whole Family

Do you have a different doctor from your spouse? Does your child see a pediatrician? Most families have different medical health providers for different members of the family. This makes sense in most cases, but did you know that you can find a dentist who will treat every person in the family from a baby to a senior? I'm a manager or a family dentist, and in this blog you will learn why a family dentist is a great idea. I will tell you the many advantages of taking every family member to the same dentist, and I will give you tips of finding the right dental office for your family.