Avoiding stress in the 21st Century is hard. We’re all bombarded with stressors, from work to the family — even our smartphones! The problem really isn’t the stressors themselves but how we respond to them and try to relieve stress.
It is not abnormal for people to clench or grind their teeth at times. The medical term is called bruxism and is not usually harmful. However, those who grind their teeth on a regular basis can run the risk of oral health complications.
How Do I Know I’m Grinding My Teeth?
Most of us are unaware that we grind our teeth because it often happens while we are sleeping. If you wake up with a constant headache or a sore jaw, you may be grinding your teeth at night. Many factors can cause bruxism including, sleep apnea, anxiety, stress, crooked teeth or an abnormal bite. If you think you’re grinding your teeth, you should consult with your dentist. At Superior Dental Health we can examine your jaw and mouth to check for tenderness or damage done to your teeth.
How Can I Stop Grinding My Teeth?
If you are a chronic teeth grinder, it can cause loss of teeth or fractures. If you do not seek the help of a dentist right away, you might need to have root canals, bridges, partial dentures or implants. While no one knows for sure what exactly causes bruxism, stress and anxiety may play a significant role.
To properly get a handle on stress in your life, you must first understand what causes it. There’s a long list of causes of pressure. Topping that list are things like unfulfillment and mistreatment at work, poor relationships, financial problems, moving, traumatic events, worrying, unrealistic expectations, health problems, and even death. Everyone has different stress triggers. Therefore there is not a one size fits all approach to relieving stress. We recommend surveying your life and being aware of what triggers stress in your own life. Often times making a commitment to resolving issues or removing yourself from external stress environments can go a long way in creating more balance for your emotional health.
Lowering your stress level can decrease the need to clench your teeth. Practice meditation before bedtime to help relieve stress and anxiety. Meditation allows you to focus on one particular subject at hand while concentrating on your breathing. It enables you to prevent your mind from racing which can cause unnecessary stress.
If you are continuing to experience teeth grinding problems, contact one of our dental offices today!