Can My Teeth Grinding Habit Make Me Look Older?

Can My Teeth Grinding Habit Make Me Look Older?

The Brux Doc The Brux Doc
5 minute read

Teeth grinding can affect the body in a number of adverse ways. The most obvious is the wear and tear it does to the teeth themselves.

Grinding habitually means that you are exposing your enamel to friction on a regular basis, perhaps every night or maybe even during the day as well. The friction will wear away tooth enamel over time, shortening your teeth and exposing the dentin beneath. Dentin is softer than enamel and can be damaged at a higher pH, meaning that even tap water can impact the health of dentin. This wearing away process can make your teeth sensitive and leave them very vulnerable to cavities. Additionally, grinding can chip and crack teeth because of the pressure of clenching or the impact of grinding.

Wearing away your enamel also has aesthetic impacts on your appearance because dentin is yellow. So, the more your enamel thins, the more yellow your teeth will become, which can age your appearance.

However, those are only the teeth-specific issues that arise from grinding. They can certainly age the appearance of your mouth and the state of your oral health, but there are also other effects that can age your body more widely.

Teeth grinding and gum health

One of the issues people do not always expect from teeth grinding is an increase in gingivitis and periodontal disease. These gum infections can happen to anyone, especially if you do not floss or get regular cleanings at the dentist. However, the impact of grinding and clenching teeth on a regular basis can increase inflammation in the gums and contribute to susceptibility to gum infections, making them more likely and more severe.

Periodontal disease can, in turn, introduce bacteria to the bloodstream, where it can have wider effects on the body as a whole. For instance, it has shown links to respiratory disease, heart disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. In other words, you can certainly experience complications from teeth grinding that age your body and impact your overall health.

Gums and bones that affect your appearance

One of the other major issues that arise from periodontal disease is bone loss in the jaw. When bacteria-filled tartar builds up around the roots of your teeth, it can start to limit the amount your bone in that area that is able to regenerate. Since the jawbone regenerates more frequently than other bones in the body, the loss of bone mass can also happen more quickly.

The worst effect of losing bone in your jaw is that it can cause you to lose your teeth. When the roots of the teeth have too little holding them in place, they become loose and eventually fall out.

Unfortunately, you cannot naturally regrow bone once you have lost it. So, the only treatment for bone loss in the jaw is bone grafting, used to stabilize loose teeth or to hold implants in place once a tooth has been lost.

Both bone loss in the jaw and tooth loss will affect the appearance of your face. You may notice sinking or volume loss around your mouth, which can also cause wrinkles around the mouth. If you suffer a loss of numerous teeth, you may experience a shortening of the face.

The causes of teeth grinding and effects of aging

It’s not just teeth grinding itself that can cause aging, it’s also the underlying issues behind teeth grinding that can make you look and feel older. One of the leading contributors to tooth grinding frequency and severity is stress, which also negatively impacts many systems of the body.

Externally, stress can lead to acne, rashes, and dehydrated skin (which wrinkles more easily). It can also bring on gray hair. Extreme stress can even lead to hair loss.

Internally, stress can contribute to hormone imbalances, decreased nutritional absorption, lowered immunity, reduced energy and concentration, and increased health risks in many areas.

All in all, stress is a major negative force on your body and mind, causing you to age more quickly and experience worse health outcomes. So, addressing the stress that is bringing on your teeth grinding will have healing effects on your entire body.

Some great stress relief tactics include taking up a regular exercise routine, spending time outdoors, enjoying time with those you love, stretching or meditating during the day, and building a restful bedtime routine. If it seems difficult or insurmountable to include one or more of these practices in your daily life, consider seeking professional advice from a coach or therapist who can help you respond to your specific circumstances.

Addressing teeth grinding means taking care of your overall health.

When you take steps to treat teeth grinding and protect yourself from its effects by reducing stress and wearing a night guard, you are taking care of your whole body.  As a first step, find yourself an affordable night guard through TeethNightGuard.

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