At times, life can be stressful and the search for stress-relief is a common topic at the water cooler. Meditation, yoga, walking, exercise…are all helpful antidotes to stress.
Did you know that stress sometimes manifests itself in unconscious teeth grinding and jaw clenching? This is called bruxism, a fairly common dental issue which affects approximately 40 million adults and children.
- Bruxism may be the result of your body’s reaction to your teeth not lining up or coming together properly. This is called your “bite” and it can affect your speech, how you eat and the appearance of your face.
- When your teeth rub together, the outer layers of your tooth enamel can wear away and your teeth become sensitive. Severe bruxism can damage your teeth and even break dental fillings.
- Bruxism may be a symptom of diseases of the facial nerves and muscles or it may be a side effect of some of the medicines that treat depression.
- If you grind your teeth when you sleep, this is called nocturnal bruxism. It sometimes results in waking with a dull headache or facial or jaw pain (TMJ).
- If, out of habit, you clench and grind your teeth during the day, you may not even be aware that you’re doing it. However, your friends or family members may have called it to your attention.
- Typical symptoms of bruxism are painful, rhythmic contractions of your jaw and jaw muscles, popping or clicking in your jaw, damaged teeth or broken fillings and headache or facial pain.
- If you suffer from bruxism and think it may be stress-related, you can research some strategies that will help you relax. Cutting back on your caffeine consumption may also help alleviate the symptoms.
Do you think you may be suffering from bruxism? It’s easy to call for a consultation appointment with Dr. Holbrook. He will assess any medications you are taking, the alignment of your teeth, your sleep habits and discuss the possible stressors in your life. Call, today: (505) 881-1159.