A knee jerk response to stress or anger is to clench our teeth. Unfortunately, some do not ever unclench. Take a moment and become aware of what is going on in your mouth. Are you tightly clamping your top and bottom teeth together or sliding your teeth back and forth over each other? Many people clench or grind their teeth on a daily basis and are not even aware of it.
Clenching or grinding your teeth is called bruxism. Bruxism can be induced by stress and anxiety, as well as sleep disorders, abnormal bite and missing or crooked teeth. Clenching your teeth can lead to headaches, earaches, sore jaw, jaw pain, jaw disorders and damaged teeth. It can also create TMJ problems. Grinding can cause pain, tooth lose and even fractures in your teeth.
Sleep related bruxism is a major problem because the lack of control. To protect your teeth while you sleep, we can fit you with a mouth guard. The mouth guard will alleviate clenching or grinding when you cannot help it. If bruxism is caused by stress, try to find ways to relax. Some recommendations to reduce tension are physical therapy, muscle relaxants, counseling and exercise. Bruxism is not a dangerous disorder. However, it can lead to permanent damage. Don’t make your teeth the brunt of your stress!