There is no doubt about it, teeth grinding is a bad habit. While some people clench or grind their teeth during times of stress, others do it while they sleep. Regardless of what time of day you do it, the consequences of teeth grinding are the same. While you may understand how teeth grinding can damage your teeth, cause headaches or produce sore jaw muscles, did you know that this habit can also alter the shape of your face? Studies show that teeth grinding can cause dramatic changes to the lower portion of a person’s face if it is not treated in a timely manner.
When a person grinds his or her teeth on a frequent basis, the masseter muscles get overworked. These are the muscles at the back angle of the lower jaw. When these muscles “bulk up” from excessive use, they can give you a square facial shape or a wider appearance.
Teeth grinding can impact the way you look in other ways too. The grinding and abrasive forces on your teeth can cause the enamel to wear thin. This causes the yellow dentin layer to show through. In addition to a square face and discolored smile, you may also find that your teeth grinding habit has caused some teeth to chip, break, wear down or become loose.
Teeth grinding, medically termed bruxism, is a serious concern not only for your oral health but for your overall wellbeing and appearance. At Park South Dentistry, we offer the latest, most proven treatments for teeth grinding. Patients have high success rates when using a custom nighttime mouthguard. This prevents clenching and teeth grinding while you sleep, helping your preserve your smile and your facial shape!