Stress manifests itself differently in every individual, and for some, this means teeth grinding (bruxism) or clenching either at night or during the day. The expert dentists at Preferred Dental Care Chelsea are sharing important information about what causes teeth grinding, the symptoms, and treatments available. Treating this condition now will help to prevent pain and possible dental complications.
Teeth grinding has many causes, such as irregular sleep patterns, but most often stress is the culprit. Grinding is much more common in women than men, typically between the ages of 20 and 40. Teeth grinding causes wear and tear on your teeth, breaking down the protective enamel, and taxing the muscles and joints of the jaw, leading to discomfort. In more serious cases, stress on your jaw can cause osteoarthritis, bone loss, or periodontal (gum) disease.
To protect and prevent more serious consequences of grinding, follow the advice of your NYC dentist:
- If you grind or clench your teeth during the day, set yourself reminders to check in and make sure your jaw is relaxed. In general, your lips should be sealed but your teeth should not be together except when chewing or swallowing.
- Develop a relaxing bedtime routine. Whether this is yoga, reading, or writing in a journal - it's a good place to start. A warm bath or a soothing compress before bed will help relax the muscles in your jaw.
- Exercise can help relieve the overall tension and stress that may be causing your grinding.
- If necessary, get help to manage your stress. Tackle the psychological or external issues that are causing you anxiety before they lead to more serious physical problems.
- Ibuprofen or similar over-the-counter medications can dull pain and relax the jaw muscles which may help you stop grinding.
- Make sure your sleeping environment is cool and comfortable; sleep deprivation is a major cause of grinding.
If you feel you cannot control your teeth grinding on your own, Preferred Dental's experienced dentists will fit you with a night guard. The night guard will redistribute the pressure from grinding and protect your teeth. If you think you might need a night guard, or want to find out what kind of damage your grinding is causing, call (212) 594-7171 to make an appointment with Preferred Dental Care Chelsea and talk to an experienced, compassionate dentist about the problem.