Question: Does Stress Make Me Grind My Teeth?
The relationship between stress and bruxism
Have you ever found yourself grinding your teeth for unexplainable reasons? The answer to this question for quite a number of individuals is yes. Teeth grinding or gnashing as most people call it is not an unusual phenomenon. In fact, if you think about it hard enough you might just remember an aunt, a cousin or someone close to you who grinds their teeth while sleeping or when deep in thoughts. A lot of research has been carried out on what may be the cause of this strange but common behavior. But the bottom line is: You are not alone.
Does stress make me grind my teeth?
Although the real cause of bruxism has not yet been established, it has been associated with stress or anxiety. People that are experiencing stressful situation sometimes find themselves grinding their teeth for no particular reason. The link between stress and bruxism is not clearly defined but what is certain is that stress plays a major role.
To what extent is stress related to teeth grinding?
Often, people who experience bruxism do so in their sleep. Though some experts believe that this may be as a result of sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea; stress and anxiety are the main contributory factors. Research has proved that most people who are suffering from apnea and bruxism are also victims of stress and anxiety. The extent to which stress and bruxism are correlated has not been established and remains a mystery up to this date.
Some people have confessed to having an on-off bruxism condition. Further investigation into these claims shows that the condition occurs when these people have stress or are in an anxious state periodically. Some days, weeks or months can be far more hectic & demanding than others. Such is the cycle of life and for many, this means excessive grinding or clenching followed by a less intense or even non existent period. These findings are to some extent, proof of the relationship between stress and teeth grinding.
Effects of teeth grinding on the oral and dental health
Seasonal grinding of your teeth has little or negligible effects on your teeth. The condition gets serious when the grinding takes place on a regular basis. Severe grinding of the teeth may have serious implications for your oral and dental health.
One of the complications associated with bruxism is constant headaches and sore jaws. People who grind their teeth at night may wake with a sore jaw that is at times very painful. The other complication is erosion and destruction of teeth. Though the teeth are protected by the enamel that is strong and tough, constant grinding weakens this coating causing cracks to appear. These cracks leave the teeth vulnerable to decay and destruction.
Dealing with stress as a measure to curb bruxism
Though the link between stress and bruxism has not been established, it is evident that they are linked in some way. It is, therefore, important to eliminate stress if you have any shot of dealing with bruxism. Luckily there are some ways available for people trying to do away with stress. They include:
- Regular exercising.
When you go out for a jog or attend a gym session, all your energy and thoughts are directed into the activity you are carrying out. The cycle of negative thinking is broken and hence you are free from the stressful situation. Regular exercising will always keep your mind free from the negative thoughts and, in the long run, relieve you from stress.
- Engage with others socially.
Talking to a friend or a loved one concerning a difficult situation is a great step towards stress management. Sharing with a friend can be comforting as such people may offer advice or even solution to your troubles. Even simply making time for relaxing social stimulation can decrease stress and give you a refreshing break from the monotony of every day struggles.
3. Make wise health decisions
Every day we are faced with decisions. We know how to organize our life and health so that we can live better, be happier and gain a sense of control. Yet it is a struggle and very few people do it. The fact is, if we eat better, exercise regularly, take care of our body, & take care of our mind we will absolutely reduce our stress level. You don’t need more tips. You already know how to improve yourself. It’s about really taking those steps.
EAT MORE VEGETABLES. LOTS AND LOTS OF VEGETABLES
BE NICE TO PEOPLE. SMILE AT PEOPLE. TIP WELL.
DO WHAT YOU REALLY WANT TO DO.
There are several other ways of dealing with stress. More on these methods can be found in http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-management.htm. Dealing with stress is a first step towards overcoming bruxism.