“I’ve Often Wondered: Does Bruxism Worsen During The Colder Months?”
Looking to protect your teeth during this upcoming colder months? A thin, comfortable night guard can be worn to protect your teeth from the physical and often painful harm of grinding or clenching your teeth.
Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding; a condition affecting about 8% of adults according to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Almost everyone has ground their teeth sometime during their life, whether from high emotion or stress, or simply by accident.
Sometimes an occasional clenching or grinding can become a more regular habit, and this is when it becomes a problem.
Clenching or grinding teeth can cause wear to the enamel, resulting in pain and sensitivity to certain foods, as well as aches in the jaw and damage to the cheeks and tongue.
The wear also reduces the tooth’s ability to stand up to bacteria that causes plaque and decay. In some cases, teeth can even break or become chipped.
When bruxism occurs while a person is unconscious, it is called sleep bruxism. The clenching of the particular jaw muscles that leads to grinding is usually involuntary or semi-involuntary, whether it happens during sleeping or not.
There are a wide variety of things that can cause tooth grinding, everything from tooth misalignment to anxiety and or certain drugs, which can make diagnosing a specific cause difficult.
The time of year can be one significant factor that contributes to bruxism. One of the symptoms of season allergies is teeth grinding, children being especially susceptible.
Stress has been deemed the culprit for teeth grinding for quite some time.
Another potential factor that could heighten the severity of your bruxism is stress during the holidays. If you have a tendency to grind your teeth when you are stressed, then dealing with the holidays might be exacerbating the steady ache in your jaw.
Planning time off from work, booking a flight across the country, cooking a full course meal for relatives (whose company you might not particularly enjoy) can increase stress which in turn may lead to teeth grinding.
The cold weather can also increase the discomfort for people trying to deal with teeth grinding.
When most people shiver, their teeth chatter like crazy. An already notorious grinder would be at risk for even more damage.
This can lead to a vicious cycle, where someone trying to tense up to stay warm or to cover up a tooth already made sensitive by grinding ends up making the ache and the grinding worse.
What To Do?
- Prepare. Bundle up. Stay extra cozy during the winter months
- Plan ahead. Don’t wait until the last minute. Anticipate your needs and make lists – they help!
- Be proactive. Do you know you have allergies? Stock up on allergy medications and take them as needed.
- Avoid Caffeine
- Exercise. One of the greatest things you can do for yourself to fight stress.
- Wear a night guard to prevent sensitivity/further damage
Make yourself happy. Treat yourself. Relax and don’t be in such a hurry. We live in a society where the busier we are, the more important we feel and the more respect we receive from our peers.
We’re all in such a hurry to climb the ladder, to make our house look perfect, to have the best dressed and most cultured children, to look a certain way, to fit the mold.
Relax. Your health should be at the top of your list & that health is often compromised because of stress we put on ourselves.
“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”