Stress-Reducing Tips to Stop Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding and clenching can be caused due to feeling anxiety or stress. If this holiday season has left you feeling stressed and your jaw sore, you could be grinding your teeth. Grinding your teeth due to stress means you need to find a way to reduce stress. If you’re not sure where to start, follow these tips!
What is Teeth Grinding?
Bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding, is a condition where you grind, gnash, or clench your teeth together. People who have this condition can do it unknowingly when they’re awake or even while they’re asleep at night. Signs and symptoms of bruxism can include:
- Teeth grinding or clenching, which can be loud enough for other people to hear
- Flattened, fractured, chipped, or loose teeth
- Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth
- Increased tooth pain or sensitivity
- Tired or tight jaw muscles, or a locked jaw that won’t open and close properly
- Jaw, neck, or facial pain or soreness
- Dull headache near the temples
- Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
- Problems sleeping
It’s been reported that 55% of Americans are stressed at one point or another during their day. For some people, their teeth grinding and clenching can be linked to stress or anxiety. If you have problems with clenching your teeth and you are often stressed, you could benefit from learning how to manage and reduce your stress. If this sounds like you, try these tips for reducing your stress:
Getting outside during the day has been shown to greatly reduce stress levels. Fresh air and the sunlight can do wonders for your stress levels during the day. If you find yourself sitting at your desk, try to prioritize getting outdoors for a five minute walk every few hours, weather permitting, of course.
Another proven way to reduce stress is to exercise for at least 30 minutes each day. Exercising can boost your mood, and it’s a great stress reducer. Not only is it great for your mental health, but it’s great for your overall health, too.
Talk with Loved Ones
When you’re feeling stressed, try talking with a family member or friend that you can trust about how you’re feeling. Having someone to vent to can help you feel better, and they often might have suggestions for what you can do to help your situation.
We all love that cup of coffee or tea, or two, or three… but caffeine has been shown to increase anxiety in some people. Try to limit your caffeine to one cup a day, or none at all, when you’re feeling extra stressed.
It can be hard to turn our minds off at night, but if you’re feeling stressed it’s important to try and get a full, uninterrupted night’s sleep. When you sleep well, you wake up feeling more ready to take on your day. When you start the day on the right foot, you’re less likely to let stress get to you during the day.
Treatments for Teeth Grinding
If reducing your stress isn’t helping your teeth grinding situation, it’s time to come into the dentist. Dr. Ania can check to see if your jaw pain is due to a condition like TMJ, or something else. If it is TMJ, which stands for temporomandibular joint disorder, you could be experiencing headaches, jaw joint pain and noise, limited mouth movement, ear congestion, and more. When this is the case, Dr. Ania will look at your bite and the functional problem it could be causing. Using state-of-the-art technology, Dr. Ania can evaluate your bite and determine if it is a major contributing factor to your condition.
The most common treatment option for teeth grinding is getting a custom-fit night guard that you will wear to bed. This night guard helps protect your teeth and jaw from the painful effects of grinding and clenching your teeth. Your night guard will be made to fit your mouth perfectly, which means it will provide you with the most protection possible. This can help reduce or eliminate your symptoms altogether in some cases, as long as you are committed to wearing it each and every night.
Make an Appointment with Dr. Ania
If you are having jaw pain and you believe it’s caused by grinding or clenching your teeth, call Dr. Ania today. The holidays can be stressful, but taking the steps to protect your jaw from feeling the effects of your stress and anxiety can help prevent more serious dental conditions from occurring. Protect your teeth today by making an appointment with Dr. Ania (303)-872-9940.