Many people unintentionally clench the jaw on occasion, but habitual teeth grinding is a cause for concern. Medically referred to as bruxism, frequently grinding one’s teeth together can lead to certain dental problems and cause jaw pain. This condition is often seen in young children, especially youths diagnosed with a hyperactivity disorder. In adults, regular…
Manage Your Stress to Reduce Teeth Grinding
Due to the life stresses of most people, teeth grinding is a real problem for many patients. While it may begin as a minor annoyance to a bed partner, it can lead to dental problems that are not always easy to treat. It can cause attrition, which is the wearing down of the teeth, as well as headaches and TMJ disorders. If a patient notices the teeth looking shorter than usual or notices jaw pain after waking up, it can be wise to look into stress reduction techniques to reduce teeth grinding. This is considered the first line of defense in protecting teeth from the havoc that it can wreak.
Managing teeth grinding
While it is impossible to completely eliminate stress, learning to manage stress more effectively is the goal that patients should reach for. This can include daily stress reduction methods, having a better nighttime routine and talking to a doctor about other options if those are unsuccessful.
Use stress-reduction techniques throughout the day
If a person works in a particularly high-stress environment, it can be easy to spend the entire day with stress levels through the roof. Deep breathing exercises, using a stress ball and short breaks of guided meditation can help reduce stress throughout the day. If stress is lower during the day, that can often translate into better sleep, leading to less teeth grinding. It is important that a person tries multiple stress reduction techniques to find out what is most effective.
Be conscious of teeth grinding throughout the day
Some people are so stressed that teeth grinding happens during the day instead of only at night. For those patients, it is important to be conscious of when grinding is occurring and what stressor brought it on. If they can pinpoint what brings on an attack of grinding, that stressful event or situation can possibly be avoided in the future to reduce overall stress levels.
Wind down before bed
In a technology-driven world, many people get into bed with a phone in hand. However, checking work e-mails and browsing social media right before bed can lead to more restless sleep and exacerbate teeth grinding habits. A calming bedtime routine should be initiated so that the body is able to wind down properly before sleep.
Take medication as prescribed by a doctor
Sometimes conditions are beyond a person's control and stress reduction techniques are just not enough to eliminate teeth grinding at night. In these situations, a doctor may prescribe anxiety medications or medicines that help a person sleep deeper. While this is often the last resort, it may be necessary for some. Medication should always be taken exactly as prescribed by a doctor.
While the effect of grinding your teeth may come on slowly and seem inconsequential at first, it can be detrimental to your overall oral health. Consider making a consultation with a dentist to find out the right steps to take in reducing stress and eliminating this harmful habit.
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There are many common causes for jaw pain that should be considered before jumping to conclusions.Bruxism, the grinding of the teeth, can cause jaw pain. This may be less obvious because bruxism often occurs during sleep and can manifest as clenching, as well as grinding. This is bad for the teeth and the jaw. Stress…