As your responsibilities broaden and your time becomes more constricted, you may be feeling like you’re constantly under stress. Can this have an effect on your oral health? A recent study shows that 44% of Americans feel more stressed than they did five years ago, which can contribute to a serious problem called bruxism (teeth grinding). As you read on, your dentist in Coeur d’ Alene explains what you can do to counteract living in an increasingly stressful world, so you can enjoy the best oral health possible.
The Problem with Bruxism
Your teeth are designed to tear, grind and chew foods that are softer than your dental enamel (the outer layer of your teeth). Thus, whenever the teeth grind against each other, there is a chance for damaging and possibly breaking them.
An additional problem that teeth grinding can pose is a serious condition called TMJ, which is the painful inflammation of the joint that opens and closes the jaw. To prevent these problems from arising, it’s important to develop a strategy for counteracting stress.
Ways to Reduce Stress
While you can’t always control when and where a stressor will emerge, you can take steps to respond effectively. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:
- Breathe – It’s sometimes a natural inclination to restrict your breathing when you’re under stress, which can lead to teeth grinding. So the next time you feel pressured, don’t forget to take a deep breath.
- Exercise – Although exercise is a form of stress, it’s a good kind. By redirecting built-up tension in one area of your life into an exercise routine, you can better preserve your oral and overall health.
- Have Fun – When is the last time you smiled or had a good laugh? The endorphin release that occurs when you have fun can be great for relieving stress.
- Meditate – A final way to lower your stress levels and to prevent bruxism is to take a moment to meditate, which can help to make tense moments less detrimental.
How Bruxism Can be Treated
In addition to incorporating the healthy tips listed above, your dentist can also help you to overcome bruxism. Because it’s common for many people to grind their teeth while sleeping, a custom mouthguard worn at night can help to prevent this from happening.
If you’ve been suffering from bruxism, then don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist to get the expert help you need. Therefore, you can preserve your teeth and oral health for years to come.
About the Author
A graduate of Loma Linda University, Dr. Filip Orban takes a holistic approach to practicing dentistry. A member of the Northwest Study Club, the Academy of General Dentistry and other professional organizations, he uses the latest technology and dental methods to help patients overcome bruxism at Orban Family Dental. Dr. Orban can be reached for more information through his website.