Is Grinding Your Teeth Prematurely Aging You?
Lots of people worry about how their teeth look, but many don't consider the impact teeth in poor shape can have on their overall appearance. Even if you don't flash a smile, if you're a regular tooth grinder, your teeth could be making you look older or heavier than you actually are. Read on to learn how this happens and what you can do to reverse the effects.
What Happens When You Grind Your Teeth
Grinding your teeth can give you a headache and a toothache, but those are just short-term problems. In the long-term, grinding your teeth can actually impact the shape and size of your teeth.
If you grind your teeth hard enough and for long enough, such as at night when you're asleep, you may end up with shortened teeth. Enamel can be worn away from long-term grinding, and then the tooth itself can begin to wear away. This is gradual, and won't happen as soon as you begin a tooth grinding habit, but if you don't do anything to prevent grinding or to repair the damage, it will get worse.
The Results Of Tooth Grinding On Your Face
When your teeth become shorter, your jaw won't look the way it once did. Ever notice that your jaw becomes more prominent if you tightly press your teeth together? This effect is diminished if your teeth aren't all the same length, or if they've all become shortened. Your lower jaw has to travel further in order for your teeth to meet, and as a result, your jawline may appear less prominent. This can make it look like you have weak bones, a weak chin, or make you look like you're carrying extra weight, because the bone doesn't appear as strong and prominent on your face as it typically does.
Thankfully, you don't need a jaw lift or plastic surgery to improve your appearance. Just go to a cosmetic dentistry professional instead.
Your dentist will assess the damage to your teeth and start out by repairing the damage. This ensures that your teeth are strong and healthy again, and won't be at as much risk from future grinding.
Then, your dentist will recommend a cosmetic solution for your teeth to get them back to their original height, and thus, your jaw back to its original appearance. Depending on the damage to your teeth, this may call for dental crowns or veneers. In either case, your original teeth are left intact and simply covered, so your jaw rests normally again and looks sharp and defined once more.
Going to a cosmetic dentist can improve the appearance of your teeth and your entire face. If you're worried about your jaw and know that you grind your teeth, seek help from a reputable cosmetic dentist.