Will My Elevated Stress Levels Cause Teeth Grinding?

A number of factors could cause us to develop bruxism, a disorder in which we grind and clench our teeth frequently at night. One of these is stress, and given everything happening in the world right now, elevated stress levels are very common. When should you talk to your Overland Park, KS, dentist about teeth grinding, and how do you lower your overall risk?

The Link Between Anxiety and Bruxism

Bruxism could develop for multiple reasons, such as misalignment, tooth loss, bite imbalance, injury to the face or jaw, or TMJ disorder. But one of the major causes is actually elevated levels of stress in your daily life. When we begin grinding our teeth, this could place serious pressure on the teeth. Eventually, the protective layers of enamel could become worn down, or the structure could crack and chip. The damage then exposes the sensitive inner tissues to harmful bacteria, allowing cavities or even a dental infection to form.

When Should I Talk to My Dentist?

You should let us know if you begin to experience pain or sensitivity in one or more of your teeth that doesn’t subside after a day or two. With emergency dentistry, we can address this discomfort, as our office is currently still providing emergency treatment for patients in need. Addressing the discomfort could prevent worsening infection or the loss of a tooth. Also let us know if you begin to experience headaches, migraines, or jaw pain. We can talk about ways to alleviate discomfort and protect your smile until our doors open again and we can offer treatment.

How Do I Help Avoid Teeth Grinding?

First, try to lower your stress levels. Ways to help include breathing exercises, yoga, working out, listening to calming music, and creating a schedule to help you manage your new routine. We also urge people to cut back on caffeinated products and hard/chewy foods and snacks, which could exacerbate your symptoms and worsen discomfort. When we can see you, our team will likely create an oral appliance that fits like a mouthguard and is worn while you sleep. The device then repositions the jaw joints to ease discomfort, and also places a barrier between the upper and lower sets of teeth to prevent further damage. If you have any questions about treating teeth grinding, then contact our team today.

Do You Have Questions About Keeping Your Smile Strong?

We want to work with you to make sure you’re taking good care of your smile until you can see us for a checkup and cleaning. To learn more about protecting your smile’s health and beauty, then schedule your consultation by calling Family First Dental in Overland Park, KS, today at 913-381-2600.