Ignoring This Dental Habit Can Make You Look Older – Health Digest

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Influenced by a number of different factors, such as structural abnormalities, family history, lifestyle habits, and certain health conditions, including some mental health disorders, bruxism can have damaging effects on the surrounding jaw muscles and joints. As outlined in the 2017 research paper, the main muscles that get worked when we’re unconsciously grinding our teeth are the masseters and temporalis muscles. These are two of four muscle groups that make up what’s known as the primary mastication muscles, according to 2023 updated research published in StatPearls. It’s these muscles that are responsible for jaw movement to facilitate the chewing and grinding of food.

In cases of bruxism, the masseters and temporalis muscles become progressively enlarged, which may give the face a more masculine, square shape. People with bruxism may also find that the lower half of their face looks older starting at a younger age. Signs may include sagging of the nasal tip, lengthening of the upper lip, downturned mouth corners, jowl formation, and loss of cupid’s bow — or the small dip in the middle of the upper lip that creates two peaks on either side, giving the shape of the upper lip a bow-like appearance. Naperville Dental Specialists further add that ongoing teeth grinding can gradually wear away at protective enamel, shortening the length of our teeth. In more severe cases involving tooth loss or jawbone loss, the face may sag from a lack of bone support.

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