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While your dentist may have suggested that you wear a night guard to help prevent clenching and grinding which wears down the enamel on your teeth (and shorter teeth are a tell-tale sign of aging), a night guard also can also prevent jowls and sagging skin. This is due, in part to a muscle that attaches the corners of our mouth to the border of the lower jaw called the triangularis which allows us to frown. If we frown a lot, it over develops this muscle which can create jowl lines. But even if you don't frown a lot, these jowl lines can also be formed from unconsciously grinding or clenching your teeth. This habit, called bruxism, is quite common and while you may be unaware that you are clenching or grinding, your dentist will be able to tell by excessive wear on your teeth. The chronic pressure on the teeth can also affect our facial bones and contribute to bone loss over time.
Our facial bones make up the structure of our faces and as we lose bone mass in the face, it leads to sagging skin, jowls, hollowed cheeks and eyes. While this is an inevitable part of aging, preventing the acceleration of bone loss due to grinding/clenching teeth by seeing your dentist is one of the best kept anti-aging secrets!