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Teeth Grinding and Stress
Teeth Grinding and Stress

Research has shown a direct correlation between stress and grinding your teeth. In the short term, teeth grinding – also known as bruxism – most often results in restless sleep – for both you and your partner. But over time, bruxism cam lead to facial and jaw pain, tooth aches and sensitivity, headaches, damage from chewing the inside of your cheek and worn-down or broken teeth. One of the primary causes of teeth grinding is as a response to stress. The good news? If you can manage your stress levels, you may be able to nip bruxism in the bud. Here’s more about teeth grinding and stress.

Causes of Bruxism

Teeth grinding can be the result of many factors, to include teeth misalignment, “muscle memory” from an active mouth (as an example, frequent gum chewing), epilepsy, gastroesophageal reflux and even ADHD. More commonly, people grind their teeth during high levels of stress; as such, they are prone to other sleep-related disorders to include apnea.

Ways to Avoid Stress-related Teeth Grinding

It’s nearly impossible to eliminate all the stressors in our busy, hectic lives. But there are ways to manage stress and sleep routines to decrease the chances of grinding away at your teeth while sleeping. If you grind your teeth, consider the following –

·      Power down all your devices.  This means TV, cellphone, tablets, and streaming your favorite shows. Consider instead turning into soothing music or a wave or white noise machine; whatever soothes and calms your mind may also help prevent grinding your teeth.

·      Try a warm bath before bed. A soothing warm bath can help you relax tense muscles and relieve stress. Try adding lavender or eucalyptus to your bath for some well-deserved aromatherapy.

·      Create a cave. Many sleepless nights are triggered by blinking lights on your DVR or the light emitted from a computer screen. Try working with natural light – turn off all manmade lights and work with natural light which will help you regulate your sleep cycles for a better night’s sleep.

·      Clear your nasal passages. A warm cup of decaffeinated tea or that warm bath mentioned earlier can help clear your nasal passages, making it easier to breath through you nose, helping you sleep better.

When to see your dentist

If these home remedies are unsuccessful at relieving the stress that causes bruxism, it may be time to consult with your dentist. Your dentist can create a quality mouth guard to prevent grinding at night. If your teeth are out of alignment, he may recommend orthodontic procedures to align your teeth. If your grinding is a result of missing or broken teeth, your dentist may recommend implants to restore missing or damaged teeth.

Bidding Farewell to Bruxism in Merced

Working with a dentist who understand how to treat bruxism is a good first step to achieving the good night’s sleep – and dental health– you deserve. If you live in Merced and think that you might be grinding your teeth at night, or you are simply seeking the area’s best dental care, you need to reach out to El Portal Dental Group. Our expert and caring staff are committed to your dental health, providing general and cosmetic dentistry for the entire family. Be sure to ask about Solea Dental Laser System, a pain-free alternative to traditional dental drilling. Don’t let another sleepless night go by. Call El Porto Dental Group today at (209) 385-1479 or request an appointment online.