If you suffer from regular nighttime teeth grinding, you know that this grinding can damage the enamel of your teeth. This damage can lead to tooth decay, cavities, and even tooth loss if left untreated. But did you know that untreated bruxism, or nighttime teeth grinding, can also change the shape of your face and alter your facial appearance in a variety of different ways? Luckily, there is something you can do to prevent this facial change. Before we get to the solution, let’s take a look at how teeth grinding affects your face.
How Does Teeth Grinding Change Your Face?
When you consider the appearance and health of your teeth, you may only think of your smile. However, your teeth position, alignment, and general health play a big role in how your face appears. Regular teeth grinding can wear down the surface of the teeth, making them shorter. The shortening of your teeth can make your nose and chin appear closer together and cause a round facial appearance. In addition, regular teeth-grinding causes a collapse in the bite which contributes to premature wrinkles around the mouth.
As your bite changes or damage to the enamel contributes to tooth loss, your facial muscle tone can decrease. This results in sagging facial skin, a recessed chin, and the lengthening and thinning of your lips, contributing to premature aging.
Teeth grinding not only affects your teeth. It also affects the masseters muscles that allow your jaw to move. You use these muscles to open your jaw and to chew. But they are just like every other muscle in your body. The more you use them, the more they grow.
Let’s take a closer look at this. Think about why you go to the gym. You spend arm day working out in order to better define your biceps, for example. The more weight you use, the more defined your muscles become. The same is true with the masseters. If you are grinding your teeth every night, you are essentially exercising these muscles every night. As you do this, the muscles will grow, changing in size and shape. Untreated teeth grinding, or bruxism, can make these muscles much more prominent and change the shape of your face.
Can You Do Anything to Keep Your Face Shape from Changing?
The good news is that you can help reduce the risk of facial changes by treating your teeth grinding with a grinding, or night, guard. These guards provide a cushion between the teeth that helps prevent the damage to the enamel, while also helping to relax the jaw muscles and reduce the tension from grinding. Grinding guards are available in soft, for mild grinding, as well as hard or dual laminate guards for more severe grinding.
Don’t let your teeth grinding damage your teeth or change the shape of your face. Visit SportingSmiles today to purchase a high-quality grinding guard at a low cost.
In addition to strength levels, grinding guards come in three main forms: stock, boil and bite, and custom fit. Stock guards are a one-size-fits-all option and tend to be very uncomfortable, leaving many to set them aside and give up. Boil and bite guards form to your mouth when you bite down after boiling the material. While this offers a slightly better fit than stock guards, these still tend to be very bulky and don’t offer the best protection. Custom-fit guards are made from a mold of your teeth and conform to your exact bite. They are made from a slimmer material than boil and bite guards, feeling less bulky in your mouth and providing the best possible protection. Unfortunately, as these usually require a dental visit, they can be costly. It’s important to note that with proper care, most teeth-grinding guards will last for 2 years before you need a replacement.
The good news is, at SportingSmiles, we offer a selection of different custom-fit guards at a fraction of the price. Our patented self-impression molding kit allows you to make an impression of your teeth and send it back to our dental laboratory. Our laboratory is similar to the one your dentist sends your impression to, so you can expect the same high-quality night guard. For more information, visit our Teeth Grinding Guards page today.