Is Your Stress Causing Jaw Clenching?

Posted by AESTHETIC DENTISTRY on Feb 3 2021, 05:13 AM

Is Your Stress Causing Jaw Clenching?

Stress. It gets the best of all of us at one time or another, and after a year like 2020, a lot of us are experiencing unprecedented stress levels. Unfortunately, we don’t always deal with that stress in the healthiest of manners. From stress eating to nail-biting to teeth grinding, physical manifestations of stress can really take their toll on our bodies - in a bad way.  

Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw due to stress can be especially dangerous for several reasons. First of all, it can cause a long list of physical problems to the body, including back and neck pain, earaches, headaches and migraines, and even dislocated jaws or cracked, chipped, or broken teeth. It can even cause dizziness or vertigo and sinus issues.

Stress can cause us to grind our teeth, which can wear away our tooth enamel causing our teeth to chip or fracture.

Stress grinding can occur during the day or night, and those who grind their teeth may not even realize they’re doing it, so it can be incredibly difficult to treat or to stop doing. That’s why paying attention to the symptoms is so important in the diagnosis process.

Here’s an interesting fact: did you know your teeth should almost never be touching. In fact, they should only touch each other for just a few seconds while swallowing, and really no other time. If you find that your teeth are touching at other times, you could have a jaw clenching or teeth grinding problem.

During the pandemic, dentists across America are seeing more and more patients reporting jaw pain, including clenching in younger patients - patients as young as eight years old or younger. That’s because kids are experiencing unprecedented amounts of stress, too.

But there is hope out there. There are ways to treat stress clenching and grinding. Combinations of treatments include physical therapy, bite guards, sleep orthotics, relaxation techniques, and even mental health counseling to help deal with the root cause of the stress-causing physical issues.

If you find yourself grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw, speak to Dr. Abelar about your options. A sleep or daytime orthotic can help you protect your teeth and jaw from clenching and help the physical signs of stress on your body.

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