Breathe in. Breath out. With all of the hustle and bustle of everyday life, sometimes we forget to take a minute and relax. It’s no wonder that we are all so stressed. But what you may not have known is that stress can lead to dental problems that can affect your dental care!
Clenching and grinding, also known as bruxism, can be a side effect of stress and anxiety.
Grinding your teeth often happens at night while you sleep so you may not even realize you are doing it; but it can also occur during the day. This is more common than you would think – bruxism affects about one in three people, so there is a good chance that you might be grinding or clenching unconsciously.
Some symptoms to help you determine if you are clenching or grinding your teeth include:
- Jaw pain
- Tooth sensitivity or achiness
- Headaches or earaches
- Worn or cracked teeth and fillings
- Trouble sleeping
If your bruxism goes unresolved for a long period of time, the pressure it puts on your jaws can actually cause long term issues such as TMJ disorder and broken teeth. To read more on symptoms you can go to the ADA website and see if you are experiencing any of these listed.
How is bruxism treated? If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, there is a good chance that you are clenching/grinding your teeth. Here are some steps to help you get the treatment you need:
- Reduce stress as much as possible. While stress is not the only trigger that can cause bruxism, it is usually a primary factor. Exercise, a healthy well-rounded diet, and hobbies are all ideal ways to
start reducing stress.
- Wear a protective nightguard. Having a nightguard made just for you will help so much in preventing headaches, jaw pain, cracked teeth and fillings. The hard material from which the nightguard is made absorbs the pressure your jaws were putting on your teeth. To read more about what a nightguard will do for you, visit GrinDentistry.
- Visit your Dental Provider to determine the best dental care and if any treatment needs to be done such as fixing cracked or broken teeth and fillings.
- If necessary, consult your medical healthcare provider for a sleep study test.
Even if you are not able to eliminate all the stress in your life, you can take steps to ensure you control the outcome of your teeth!