Teeth grinding also known as Bruxism, is not necessarily bad when it’s done occasionally. However excessive teeth grinding can lead to tooth damage and may cause serious oral health issues if not addressed. Some examples of issues that can arise due to excessive teeth grinding are fracturing, loosening, or total loss of teeth. Unfortunately, when teeth are worn down severely due to teeth grinding you may need to see a dentist for bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, or event partial dentures.
One of the problems with teeth grinding is that you may not even realize that you’re doing it. Since teeth grinding typically happens at night while you’re sleeping, patients are often unaware that it’s even an issue. If you have chronic headaches in the morning right when you are waking up or a sore jaw, that is often a sign of teeth grinding. If you have a spouse sleeping next to you, they might be able to tell you if you’re doing it because teeth grinding can be quite noisy.
A big cause of teeth grinding is stress and anxiety. According to Psychology Today, Americans have broken a record for being more stressed than ever not only because of the individual, financial and familial responsibilities but also because of the current political climate.
Stress is not inherently bad, however. In fact, it serves a very useful purpose in life. It motivates us to push ourselves in work situations, try harder at school, complete important tasks, and perform well during competitive activities. Stress can be a good thing, but if it’s not properly handled, stress can wreak havoc on our emotional, physical, and mental health.
To properly get a handle on stress in your life, you must first understand what causes it. There’s a long list of causes of stress. Topping that list are things like unfulfillment and mistreatment at work, poor relationships, financial problems, moving, traumatic events, worrying, unrealistic expectations, health problems, and even death. Everyone has different stress triggers, therefore there is not a one size fits all approach to relieving stress. We recommend surveying your life and being aware of what triggers stress in your own life. Often times making a commitment to resolving issues or removing yourself from external stress environments can go a long way in creating more balance for your emotional health. For example, relieving stress may call for looking for a new job because you’re not happy with the pay. You may find that some of your relationships are triggers for stress on a daily basis so practicing forgiveness and engaging in conflict resolution techniques can relieve some of the stress burden.
Other ways to lower stress are meditation, breathing, mindfulness or awareness of your surroundings, and self-care. Yoga, exercise, and sports are also excellent ways to reduce stress. You might even find that listening to music or taking frequent breaks during the day can significantly reduce stress on a daily basis.
The main thing to consider if you’re looking to reduce stress is to make yourself a priority. Be committed to overall health and balance and you’ll naturally find ways to lower stress. Don’t let stress eat away at your life. Be responsible for yourself and find a healthy outlet to relieve stress. Afterall your body depends on it, including your pearly white teeth!