Life can be stressful at times – and the search for stress relief is common.
Meditation, walking, and yoga …can all be helpful when dealing with stress and anxiety. Sometimes, however, you may clench your jaw or grind your teeth during stress. This is called Bruxism, affecting approximately 40 million children and adults in the U.S.
You may do it only during sleep (nocturnal Bruxism), or you may grind and clench your teeth during the day. You may not even be aware that you’re doing it. Severe Bruxism can break dental fillings or damaged teeth. When teeth rub together, the outer layers of tooth enamel can wear away, and teeth can become sensitive. You may also wake with a dull headache or experience facial or jaw pain (TMJ).
Even though some experts view Bruxism as nothing more than a habit, it may result from the body’s reaction if teeth do not line up or come together properly. Bruxism can also be a symptom of facial nerves and muscle diseases. In rare cases, Bruxism may be a side effect of some medicines that treat depression, such as Prozac and Paxil.
Call us to schedule a consultation appointment if you think you may be grinding or clenching your teeth more than usual. We will talk to you about your general health, stress sources, sleep habits, and medicines you currently take. We will examine the surfaces of your teeth and their alignment and look for tenderness in your jaw and facial muscles. We may
also, take x-rays.
Suppose your Bruxism is stress-related; research strategies to help you relax. It may also help to cut your intake of caffeine. At StarWhite Dental, we typically prescribe a night guard – an appliance worn while you sleep designed to relax your jaw muscles and prevent your teeth from wearing down. If you wake with sore facial muscles, weakness, or jaw pain, you would be a good candidate for a night guard.
Don’t continue to gnash and clench and grind!
Call for an appointment today: (951) 698-4426.
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