There are a lot of reasons that people clench and grind their teeth, but stress is one of the biggest. Anxiety and stress may lead you to grind your teeth during the day or while you are asleep, and while it isn't dangerous, it can damage your teeth and put unnatural pressure onto the jaw muscles.
These are some ways that you can cope.
Reduce Daily Stress
The National Institutes of Health recommends that to treat bruxism you try to reduce your daily stress. This is often easier said than done. It may require you to say no to taking on added responsibilities in your personal life, and when stress does result, you'll have to take steps to combat it. Relaxation techniques like mindful meditation and certain yoga practices can help. You should also make an effort to keep your facial muscles in a relaxed state throughout the day.
Other Ways to Combat Bruxism
Reducing your daily stress is just one thing you can try to stop clenching and grinding. While you work on that, consider wearing a night guard while asleep at night. If you do grind your teeth when you are unaware, at least they will be protected from the effects. Severe cases of grinding may require dental correction, especially if tooth wear has resulted in an inability to chew properly or sensitivity, and a mouth guard can prevent the problem from getting to this point.
There are other treatments that may help with your bruxism. Muscle relaxants before bed could be prescribed, or you may want to talk to your doctor about medication for stress and anxiety. In some cases, people with severe bruxism even benefit from Botox injections.
If you have additional questions about how to deal with your bruxism, please give us a call. We are always here to help.
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