Our world can be filled with chaos and stress. And sometimes, our brain can have some difficulties computing the world and those stressors can lead to a myriad of anxiety disorders. And that can manifest itself in jaw tension, which can cause both long-term problems and daily headaches.
Today, your Overland Park, KS dentist writes about how our mental health can affect our smile, and when might be best to see a professional.
Remember That This Is Common
There are many different forms of anxiety disorders, ranging from the broad GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) to very specific phobias and situation-specific events. Due to this, it is important that you are able to identify the triggers for your anxiety.
Please consult with a therapist if you are struggling with anxiety, and work with them to develop a plan for management of your condition. Anxiety and depression affected over 40% of the American population last year, and it is not something you have to handle alone. Please reach out for assistance.
Possible Damage Can Occur
Bruxism is the term for the persistent grinding of teeth, and it encapsulates a lot of the motion that can be associated with stress tension. This can be incredibly damaging to the structures of the teeth and the jaw. It can also affect the alignment within the mouth, requiring orthodontic repair.
If you are struggling overnight with jaw clenching, a night guard may be a helpful solution for you. Commonly found at local supermarkets and drugstores are what are known as “boil and bite” guards, which operate in a similar manner to how football mouthguards do. For these, you place the guard into hot water, and then when the thermoplastic has softened, you bite down directly onto the device. As it hardens, it takes the form of a mold of your mouth. This can then be used at night, or whenever necessary to combat an anxious situation.
At your next examination and cleaning, be sure to discuss any clenching, gnashing, or grinding of the jaw. Every mouth is unique, and no problem is one size fits all.
Don’t Let It Escalate
The physical symptoms that come along with anxiety can be numerous, and they can sometimes hide. Often, what may seem as a routine headache or stiff neck can be a direct result of mental agitation. Because of this, it is important to always be conscious of your level of anxiety.
Jaw tension can further lead to pain in the jaw, the neck, and the head. Our muscles were not designed to operate constantly, and when we are overworking them, they become tired. And when we are tired and weakened, we are at a much higher risk of injury.
Call Us For More Information!
Contact Family First Dental in Overland Park, KS by calling 913-381-2600 to schedule your next appointment with our team and discuss how we can plan to protect your teeth as best as possible!