21 Apr Is Stress Causing You to Grind your Teeth?
We all react to stress in different ways. And it would be silly to pretend that we’re not all under a lot of stress at the moment. (If a severe toothache, broken crown or other urgent problem is adding to your stress, let us help you. H.A.B. Dental in Boca Raton and our original dentist’s office in Boynton Beach are currently open for emergencies.)
Stress makes some people irritable; others may have problems sleeping. It can raise your blood pressure and cause uncomfortable muscle tension. Stress can also cause you to clench or grind your teeth – and you might not even realize that you’re doing it.
What Happens When You Grind your Teeth?
It’s common for people who clench or grind their teeth to do so while they’re sleeping. Over time, the pressure and friction can abrade the tooth’s surface and cause a host of problems, including:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Excessive wear on teeth
- Facial pain
- Jaw pain
- Tense muscles
There’s a technical term for the compulsive habit of clenching and grinding your teeth. It’s called bruxism and you may be surprised to learn that it is very common. In fact, about one third of all people are bruxers (that’s what you call someone with bruxism).
How Do You Know If You Are Clenching your Teeth?
Since most people don’t even realize they’re clenching or grinding their teeth, it can be hard to catch bruxism before there’s a problem. There are some signs to watch for, though.
- Do the tips of your teeth look they are flat?
- Have you recently developed tooth sensitivity? (When the surface of your tooth gets worn down, the enamel can be rubbed off, exposing the inside of the tooth.)
- Is your jaw popping or clicking?
- Have you noticed indentations on your tongue?
If you think stress may have turned you into a bruxer, don’t worry. Boca Raton dentist Dr. Rosemary Baghdassarian, who also has a dental clinic in Boynton Beach, can help you. For now, you should try to relax your jaw and rest your tongue upward with teeth apart and lips shut.