Bruxism: Is Teeth Grinding Prematurely Aging Your Face And Jaw?

Dentist Articles

If you grind your teeth or clench your jaws at night, you may experience headaches, sore jaws, and even damaged teeth crowns. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can also cause other problems, including premature aging. Premature aging can gradually change the shape and structure of your face over time. Learn more about the negative effects of bruxism and ways to overcome it below.

How Can Teeth Grinding Affect Your Face?

Under normal circumstances, the aging process occurs gradually. You might notice a few wrinkles around your eyes or mouth., and you might even see silver strands of hair along your temples. But if you grind your teeth and clench your jaws, the aging process may speed up. 

Teeth grinding can occur from stress, ear infections, or sinus problems. The condition causes wear and tear on the bite surfaces of your teeth. The muscle tissue in your lower jaw also enlarges over time. The bone tissue in your lower jaw may also lose volume and support. All of these problems can affect the line of your jaw, the sharpness of your cheekbones, and the fullness of your lips. 

To prevent the negative effects above, find ways to stop grinding your teeth. 

What Can You Do to Stop Grinding Your Teeth?

If you haven't scheduled an appointment with a local dentist yet, do so now. A dentist can usually tell if you suffer from bruxism just by examining your teeth. People who grind their teeth typically have short or flat teeth crowns. The crowns may also have physical damage, such as cracks and chips. Depending on the extent of damage to your crowns, some of the layers beneath the enamel may show through. 

However, a local dentist may ask you to describe the problems you have with your jaws. For instance, a provider may ask if you have problems opening your mouth, such as when you eat or speak. A dentist may also want to know if your head or ears hurt. It's important that you tell a provider everything you can about your jaws during your appointment.

After your verbal and physical exams, a dentist will generally devise a treatment plan. A dentist may place crowns on your damaged teeth and instruct you to wear a mouth guard at night. The guard keeps your upper teeth from rubbing against your lower teeth during the night. The guard also adds support to your sore and weakened jawbones. 

How Can You Combat the Negative Effects of Bruxism?

You can also make some changes in your life to fight your premature aging. The first thing you might do is add more vitamin-rich foods to your diet. Foods that contain vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus can help strengthen the bones in your face and jaw. Don't be afraid to eat a variety of foods to get the nutrients you need.

Because stress may potentially interfere with your dental treatment, relax as much as possible before bedtime. You can take a warm bath, sip a cup of decaffeinated tea, or read a good book. Some individuals take up yoga or Pilates to release the stress in their lives. 

If your jaw still hurts at night, even after wearing your mouth guard, ask a dentist about facial or bruxism exercises. The exercises may include simple stretches, such as gently opening and closing the mouth, to massage and physical therapy. However, never perform any jaw exercises without a provider's consent or recommendations.

You can find relief from your teeth grinding and premature aging with the right treatments. To learn more about your options or to schedule a visit, contact a local dentist today.


20 April 2017

Getting Your Toddler to the Dentist Once and For All

Toddlers should see a dentist for the first time by the age of twelve months or by the time their first tooth comes in. But if you are a parent with toddlers anything like mine, the prospect of going to the dentist (let alone anywhere!) can be pretty intimidating. My kids were a handful growing up. They had tantrums any time we would have to sit in a waiting room, and they refused to get in the dentist's chair during their first few visits. So, I had to employ a professional to help me make the transition to finally getting them in that dental chair without all the screaming and crying. I know I'm not the only parent in this situation, so I decided to share the information I've learned with others who can use a little help. You can find all my advice right here on these pages!