It is common for Americans to be stressed, which can have many different negative side effects. But when it comes to your teeth it is common for people to grind their teeth when they are stressed. Grinding your teeth can lead to many issues and needs to be caught and stopped. It isn’t only stress that can cause teeth grinding, which is called bruxism, but also sleep disorders, missing teeth, or unaligned teeth can cause people to clench their teeth.
There are multiple ways to tell if you grind your teeth. It might not just be in the middle of the day that you grind your teeth. It is very common for people to grind your teeth during sleep, so you need to be watching for symptoms. Some of the common signs of bruxism are the following;
- If you wake up with a sore jaw.
- Popping or pain in your jaw.
- Your dentist lets you know that they notice tooth wear.
Most people want to stop grinding their teeth because of the pain in their jaw. But it could cause your teeth to hurt when you are chewing. Grinding your teeth can wear down the enamel on your teeth, and this can make it more likely that your teeth will break or develop cavities. Pain isn’t the only reason to stop grinding your teeth.
How to stop
If you have determined that you do have bruxism, then you should talk to your dentist about how to stop. Your dentist will also be able to tell how long and severe the grinding has been. If the damage could become severe then a mouth guard might be the best option. The mouth guard will protect your teeth at night while you sleep. If your teeth grinding happens mostly at night and you determine is caused by stress, then you should try some stress reduction techniques right before you go to sleep. There are other steps you can take such as drink water, and eat healthy foods, which both help reduce stress. There are other substances such as nicotine and caffeine that could cause you to be jitter, which could lead to teeth grinding. We don’t just want to stop the symptoms, we want to help fix the cause.
Keep brushing your teeth regularly and have good oral health habits. Talk to your dentist if you ever notice anything you think could be a sign of clenching your teeth.