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What Effect Does Eating Having On Porcelain Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are attached to your anterior teeth. These are the teeth at the front of your jaw (both upper and lower) that people actually see. Your anterior teeth are your prominent teeth and are clearly seen when speaking, smiling, and of course, eating. This is because porcelain veneers create a new layer for the outward-facing surface of the tooth. Your veneers are cosmetic in nature but have to work along with the natural tooth structure in order to be truly functional. What sort of long-term effect does eating have on your dental veneers?

Various Functions

All the teeth in your mouth have various functions that help with eating. The teeth located towards the back of your upper and lower jaw (posterior teeth) are your premolars and molars. These do all your chewing—grinding your food into a paste that can be safely swallowed. But before this food can be chewed, it must be torn into manageable sizes. Your anterior teeth (including their attached veneers) handle the gripping and tearing of food. They don't experience as much bite pressure as posterior teeth, but they still receive their share of work.

Rough Edges

Gripping (holding) and tearing (biting) food with your anterior teeth can exert pressure on your veneers—particularly their ends which make contact with food, and with the opposing teeth in your mouth. Over time, veneers may become a little rough at these contact points. You may first notice this when feeling an uneven edge when running your tongue along your teeth. Your veneers are still functional, but they may be beginning to show their age. 

Long-Term, Not Forever

Although veneers are a long-term cosmetic dental restoration, they're not permanent. Porcelain veneers can last from 10 to 30 years, so any wear and tear your veneers experience from eating will be slow to form, and won't become a problem for many years. But aside from feeling a little rough around the edges, what sort of problems can you expect?

Loose Bonding

Veneers that are starting to degrade can be more vulnerable to cracking and chipping. The dental cement holding the veneers in place may begin to loosen, and this can lead to the natural tooth structure beneath the restoration becoming more sensitive. A thin layer of natural dental enamel is removed from the tooth to make the veneer fit, and this makes the tooth far more temperature sensitive. A loose or damaged veneer may no longer protect the tooth, causing it to become increasingly uncomfortable.

Veneers that feel rough, are cracked or chipped, or are suspected to have become loose generally can't be repaired. Although your dental restorations can't be restored, you should take these warning signs as a reminder that your veneers have come to the end of their service life, and need to be replaced. 

For more information about veneers, reach out to a local dental clinic.