Most people are totally unaware that they grind their teeth, either during the day or at night, and Agoura Hills, California cosmetic dentist Jonathan Ziv, DDS, believes this is an issue for 75 percent of patients. Beyond causing headaches and neck aches, grinding can have an aging effect on the smile by wearing the biting edges of the teeth (especially the front), which not only alter their appearance, but interfere with their function, as well. Grinding can also affect the look of the face by contributing to facial collapse, according to Dr. Jonathan Ziv. “The distance between the nose and the chin can decrease, causing deep wrinkles and that ‘old lady look,’” he says.
A drastic smile makeover isn’t your only option. Just as with plastic surgery, smaller procedures spaced over a period of time (or performed concurrently) can give you the smile of your dreams. Slight reshaping of the teeth with cosmetic contouring can improve the appearance of your smile, as can ongoing whitening at home. To restore the length associated with youth, bonding on the tips of the “eye”-teeth is an option as well. However, there is a caveat with this minimalist approach: It won’t last forever, but down the line, you may be ready for longer-lasting, more involved cosmetic work.
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