Aside from triggering headaches and facial pain, grinding or clenching your teeth can wear down tooth enamel, causing your face to sink and sag due to lack of support, which can make you look up to 15 years older than you actually are.
When it comes to this often-unconscious tendency, the first step is to control the problem. Your dentist can create a custom-made appliance that prevents your teeth from touching and your bite from locking. It slips over the teeth, either on the top or bottom, redistributing pressure to properly align the bite and stop clenching.
Once the habit is broken, orthodontics can be used to move teeth that have shifted. Your dentist may recommend Invisalign, a series of custom-made, clear, removable, plastic aligners that straighten teeth over an average course of a year. When the treatment is complete, a night appliance can maintain results.
If your teeth require complete reshaping, crowns may be the most appropriate option. Newer versions are extremely strong, but your best bet is the get the grinding under control so as not to chip or break the encasements. The same goes for veneers, which can pop off if you continue to grind and clench.
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