With everything happening in the world today, it’s no surprise that many of us are suffering from elevated levels of stress. Which means for some, this stress could translate into a higher risk of bruxism, or chronic teeth grinding. How does anxiety lead to teeth grinding, and what can our Newhall, CA, patients do to protect their smiles?
The Dangers of Bruxism
Chronic teeth grinding could occur as a result of tooth loss, dental misalignment, bite imbalance, TMJ disorder, or even as a result of an injury to your face or the jaw itself. However, one of the most common causes is stress. Over time, your bruxism could begin to wear down tooth structure, destroying enamel and making the teeth appear small and short. The tooth structure could even crack and chip. This damage not only impacts the esthetics of your smile, but also exposes sensitive inner tissues to harmful bacteria, leading to a greater risk of tooth decay and dental infection.
Common Warning Signs
For some, a significant other may let them know they need treatment, as teeth grinding usually happens at night as we sleep. Otherwise, you should watch for the symptoms that usually occur in the day, such as headaches and migraines, soreness in the face and jaw, and tooth sensitivity and toothaches. If you begin to experience one or more of these common symptoms, please let us know. Pain in your tooth is a sign of an emergency issue, such as decay and infection, and we can address that currently.
At home, you can try to cut back on caffeinated products, or avoiding hard and chewy foods, as the actions needed to consume them could exacerbate symptoms. A warm washcloth against the side of the face could help ease tension too. Try to take steps to reduce your stress levels. Such as creating a schedule to help you organize your new routine, getting better sleep, and taking time for breathing exercises or a small work-out regime. When our doors open again, we will help by creating an oral appliance that you wear as you sleep. The device will fit comfortably and reposition the jaw to ease strain and pressure on the joints. The device also prevents further damage by placing a barrier between the upper and lower sets of teeth. If you have any questions about identifying and treating bruxism, then contact our team today!
Do You Have Questions About Bruxism?
With routine care and better habits, you can limit the risk of teeth grinding and other oral health issues. To learn more about avoiding damage due to bruxism, then please schedule a consultation by calling Newhall Dental Arts in Newhall, CA, today at (661) 259-7760.