Throughout millennia, we have been concerned about our self-imagery. Throughout these millennia, the importance of our appearances varied with each society. However, since the internet’s creation, the pressure to look the absolute best has increased exponentially. This pressure has only intensified with the creation of social media platforms such as Tik Tok, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. While these platforms have aided in bringing people together, it has also brought smile dysmorphia with them.
How Smile Dysmorphia Affects Dentistry
The leading cause behind smile dysmorphia is selfie-culture. This culture promotes us by presenting the best version of ourselves to the internet. However, many people have gone to great lengths to create a false version of themselves that they share online. This fictional creation often leads to deep insecurities about their self-image and smile. Thanks to the abundance of filters available through social media, people have developed a warped sense of the proper expectations for their appearance.
Smile dysmorphia is the condition in which people have deep-rooted insecurities about the appearance of their smiles. This insecurity is present regardless of the health and appearance of their teeth. Due to the numerous “perfect face” images that people put on the internet, they compare themselves to the impossible. This comparison leads many of them to seek cosmetic procedures from their dentist to address these imagined issues. The most common treatments being sought are:
- Dental Whitening – Those suffering from discolored teeth can seek out dental whitening. While this treatment does lighten the shade of your teeth, it won’t always give you the perfect white sheen you may desire. This lightening is achieved through a unique peroxide solution which is safe when used under the guidance of dentists but can damage enamel and cause sensitivity if misused. Those with smile dysmorphia may overuse this treatment to their detriment despite having beautiful teeth.
- Contouring Of The Gums – Gingival Contouring is a process in which excess gum is removed, allowing the teeth to become more prominent. Some patients have teeth that appear very small due to the excess gum. For them, Gingival contouring can be very helpful. However, smile dysmorphia can make someone feel the need to have this procedure when they don’t require it.
- Contouring Of The Enamel – Enamel Contouring removes excess enamel from the teeth and is used when patients have overly large or misshapen teeth. Due to TikTok trends encouraging people to file their teeth, many have found it damaging or even led to the loss of teeth and painful sensitivity.
Reach Out To Your Dentist For Advice
If you have unrealistic expectations about the appearance of your teeth, it can lead to problems. The most important thing that patients can do is trust their dentists. This statement is particularly true for those who suffer from smile dysmorphia. Your dentist may suggest mental health counseling should they believe that you suffer from smile dysmorphia.