Stop Teeth Grinding by Lowering Stress

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!

5 Foods That Can Whiten your Teeth

Most of us know that there are certain foods that can stain your teeth such as coffee, tea, and red wine. On the opposite side of the coin, there are foods that can help whiten teeth over time. These foods are not only healthy for your body, but also quite helpful for your teeth. In addition, these foods are natural and easy to come by.

Apples, Carrots, and Celery

There’s a reason why mothers tell us to eat our fruits and vegetables. Apples, carrots, and celery act as a natural stain remover. They increase saliva production which is our own personal cleansing agent for the mouth. They also kill bacteria that causes bad breath. Most importantly, biting down on these crispy fruits and vegetables causes a healthy crunching action that helps to scrub your teeth crystal clean. Other types of fruits that help to naturally whiten teeth are oranges and pineapples. The tartness found in these fruits also promote saliva production.

Strawberries

Don’t let the red hues fool you. This tasty treat actually contains a natural chemical that can clean your teeth and remove plaque. Malic acid is present in strawberries and it is said to be a ‘natural astringent to remove surface discoloration’ according to  Dr. Irwin Smigel, president of the American Society for Dental Aesthetics. Eat them in salads, desserts, and cereal or mash them up with some baking soda for an extra tooth brushing from time to time.

Seeds & Nuts

Exfoliating is good for the skin and also good for your teeth. Chewing up seeds and nuts causes a light abrasive that can be good for removing debris and plaque from your teeth. Almonds, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds and the like are a good healthy snack to grab and your teeth will love the cleaning action as well.

Baking Soda

This pantry staple is the mother of all fixings. It’s good for just about everything. Baking soda not only does wonders with various cooking recipes, but it also is a great natural cleaning agent for your teeth. There’s a good reason you’ll find this ingredient in many commercial toothpaste products. Baking soda is actually a form of salt and works really well for scrubbing off plaque and surface stains. Try switching up your morning routine by brushing with baking soda.

Water

We call it life’s elixir. We need it for our very survival. Not only does water keep you hydrated, but it can help act as a ‘rinse’ during our highly coveted coffee breaks. As we mentioned earlier in this article, coffee, red wine, tea and other dark beverages can stain the teeth, but try swishing water around in your mouth before, during and after to prevent staining. We recommend sticking with plain water instead of carbonated or sparkling water as bubbles can erode tooth enamel and actually harm your teeth.

If you’re looking for natural ways to whiten your teeth, try them all. They are tasty, healthy, and great for your teeth. While it’s important to take responsibility for your oral health and seek natural ways to promote oral health, we recommend being consistent with a dental care professional for regular maintenance and to complement and promote overall wellness and your perfect smile.