A significant population of Americans experiences stresses from time to time. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, most Americans worry about the future, crime rates, politics, and violence.
Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, is an oral health complication often related to stress and anxiety. Although occasional teeth grinding isn’t harmful, the condition can yield severe oral complications in the long run.
Understanding Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding (Bruxism) is an oral health condition in which patients grind, clench, or gnash their teeth when awake or during sleep. Although stress is a leading cause, you may experience teeth grinding if you have a misaligned bite, broken, or missing teeth. Bruxism also occurs from sleep disorders such as apnea.
Most patients do not realize they have bruxism since it mainly occurs during sleep. Luckily, some people learn they have the condition through people who hear them grind their teeth while sleeping.
How then can you tell that you grind your teeth while sleeping? Watch out for the following signs:
- Painful jaws when you wake up
- Mild, dull headache
- Excessively worn out or broken teeth
- Neck or shoulder pain
Why Is Bruxism Harmful?
Bruxism can cause severe jaw pain, ear aches, tension-type headache, and complications in chewing food. In addition, excessive teeth grinding wears out the enamel, making your teeth more prone to cavities.
In worst cases, chronic teeth grinding can cause fracturing and loss of teeth, subjecting you to the use of dental aids such as implants and crowns. You must visit a dentist if you suspect you may be grinding your teeth.
How To Stop Grinding Your Teeth
The first step to stopping teeth grinding is to determine the probable cause. Thus, a qualified dentist can examine your teeth to determine the severity and cause of your oral health condition. Afterward, the dentist will recommend an appropriate way to correct the complication.
Dentists usually recommend protective tooth devices such as dental mouth guards to prevent enamel loss during teeth grinding. Stress reduction techniques also come in handy, especially if stress is a significant cause of your condition.
Bedtime Stress Management Techniques
Stress reduction can help you relax and enhance a better night’s sleep.
The following techniques will help you achieve this:
Healthy Living Choices
Healthy daytime habits play a vital role in stress reduction during bedtime. Such practices include regular daytime exercises, eating a balanced diet, and drinking plenty of water. In addition, consider avoiding caffeinated drinks before retiring to bed.
Meditation and relaxation activities can help you cool your mind and prepare the body for sleep at night.
For this reason, you may read a novel, meditate, or listen to soft music before bed.
Consistent Healthy Habits
Consistent habits train your mind and body to follow a routine that pays off in the long run. For instance, you can choose a specific time to go to bed each night.
Do you experience a stiff, sore jaw when you wake up? Or, do you have a dull throbbing headache in the morning? If so, it may be time to visit a dentist since these and many more are tell-tale signs of bruxism.
A dentist can help diagnose the condition and recommend appropriate treatment, so you regain your oral health.
Do not hesitate to book an appointment with us today!
Are you are looking for an experienced orthodontist in Garden Grove, contact us today for a free consultation!