How Stress Impacts Your Oral Health: A Case of Bruxism!
Posted on 2/20/2023 by Shiv Sharma, DDS
We all deal with stress in our day-to-day lives. Stress emanates from various sources covering everything from finances to relationships to work and even health. A little stress is expected and is in fact normal, however, there are times when it becomes overwhelming. Bruxism is one of the stress-related oral concerns you are likely to experience.
What Does Bruxism Involve?
Adults with stress and anxiety are likely to grind their teeth, a condition referred to as bruxism. Patients who grind may not know they are doing it because it happens mostly at night while sleeping. The worst bruxisers can grind teeth for about 40 minutes in each hour of sleep. It is also possible that you clench your jaw when awake if you are stressed or concentrating.
Bruxism affects Your Teeth
If you grind your teeth, you can put 10 times the normal pressure you take to chew food. When you do this, you end up wearing or damaging your teeth. The ends of the teeth begin to appear flat, chipped, or cracked. Also, the tooth enamel is eroded, often exposing the dentin, which in turn, leads to sensitivity. Another impact that bruxism has on teeth is indentations on the tongue. You may wake up with dull headaches and unspecific jaw pain.
Preventing Further Damage
If you suspect that you grind teeth, you should try to reduce stress. It can help keep you from grinding during the night. Be mindful of stress levels during the daytime to help stop clenching. Self-massages along the jaw as well as warm compresses can offer relief. Remind yourself throughout the day that you need to unclench your jaw.
Nightguard for Teeth Grinding
A dentist may suggest wearing a nightguard in order to provide protective barriers between the teeth during sleep. Nightguards can be customized-fitted so that they fit properly in your mouth. Avoid over-the-counter nightguards such as boil-and-bite or stock guards since they might not fit you properly. Contact us to talk about your bruxism and stress, and see how we can help.
Thank you for trusting us with your oral health. Give us a call at (650) 321-9693.
2875 Middlefield Rd Suite #1 Palo Alto, CA94306-2548
Dental Blog - Palo Alto, CA • Palo Alto Oral Health Stay up to date on various oral health topics by visiting our dental blog. Have a subject you think we should cover? Call Palo Alto Oral Health at: (650) 250-4350. Palo Alto Oral Health, 2875 Middlefield Rd Suite #1, Palo Alto, CA 94306-2548 | (650) 321-9693 | paloaltooralhealth.com | 3/20/2023 | Tags: dentist Palo Alto CA |