How Managing Stress Can Reduce Instances of Bruxism
Posted on 2/20/2020 by Tropic Dental
The causes of bruxism are not fully understood, but daily stress may indeed trigger jaw clenching and grinding for some people, so therefore stress management may be one of the primary means for preventing bruxism.
Taking Charge of Your Stress
Taking charge of stress is of course, much easier said than done. We are all bombarded with stressors from work to family – even our smartphones stress us out! The problem is not the stressor, so much is how we, of course, respond to them and try to relieve that pressure. This often has negative effects on our health, especially so with those who suffer from bruxism.
Those habits involve the rhythmic or spasmodic clenching, biting or grinding of the teeth, oftentimes involuntarily, beyond any normal chewing function and often times while trying to sleep. There is jaw soreness in the morning, which is a telltale sign. There are other causes, but stress is one of the most common.
Teeth grinding has serious consequences for dental problems. Teeth normally wear as we age, but grinding or clenching habits can accelerate it to a rapid pace. The grinding can become so extensive that the enamel erodes, which leads to fractures and cracks in the teeth.
When you are dealing with this type of bruxism you have to address the root cause: your relationship to stress. Try to adopt an unwinding period at night before you sleep to better relax – try to take a warm bath or keep work items or digital media out of the bedroom. Try meditation or mindfulness or biofeedback.
While you are working on reducing your stress ask a dentist about an occlusal guard, which is a custom-fitted appliance worn while you sleep that prevents teeth from making solid contact with each other when you clench them.
If you would like more information on the causes and treatments for teeth grinding or bruxism, we urge you to call our office and set up and appointment.