How Stress and Bruxism Combine to Harm Your Teeth

Bruxism is when you consciously or unconsciously clench and grind your teeth. You may do this at night while you sleep or catch yourself tightening your jaw during certain times of the day. Whatever the case, bruxism can negatively affect and harm your oral health.

This condition is still somewhat of a mystery, and there is no clear explanation for it. We have many theories as to why some people suffer from it, but no definite culprit.

The Bruxism and Stress Link

While researchers have many theories, one of the most prevalent ones is that stress and anxiety cause bruxism. If you have ever noticed that you are so uptight about a looming deadline at work or another problem in your life that you clench your jaw, you may suffer from the condition.

In a study from 2008, researchers discovered that people in stressful jobs, such as law enforcement are at 50-percent higher risk of experiencing bruxism. There is mounting evidence that your line of work could be causing your bruxism.

Why is Bruxism Bad for Your Teeth?

One of the main problems with bruxism is that it has side effects that can affect your productivity at work or school. If you are unconsciously clenching and grinding your teeth at night, you could be waking up with a sore jaw, a headache or an earache.

Starting your day with pain is never good and having to take pain pills regularly to control the pain can damage your teeth. Some medications can result in dry mouth, for example, which promotes the growth of harmful bacteria.

Mild cases of bruxism can improve by using something like a mouthguard, which you can purchase over-the-counter, or you can get custom-made in our office. Relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga can also help to improve the condition. It is critical that you let us know if you think you suffer from bruxism, but we can even spot the signs during an oral examination.

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