Stress, Sleep, and Your Teeth

Bruxism and Teeth Pain Baton Rouge LAWe all only get one set of permanent teeth during our lifetime, so protecting them should be of high importance. When stress hits your life, it is often difficult to make self-care a priority. Many people say that they feel less stressed after exercising, yet it is often difficult to find time to exercise during stressful seasons of life. While this is totally understandable, the body must relieve stress someway because it is not designed to function at a high level of stress long-term.

During stressful seasons of life, many people develop bruxism. Bruxism, also called teeth grinding, is a condition in which people involuntarily grind their teeth. Most people grind their teeth during the night while they sleep, but some people do catch themselves grinding their teeth during the day when they are stressed.

Bruxism is a problem that should not be ignored, yet many people do not know that they have been grinding their teeth until a dentist brings it to their attention. If you are living through a stressful season, and who isn’t in 2020?, it is important to know the signs and symptoms of bruxism so that you can seek intervention before severe oral damage occurs.

Signs that you are grinding your teeth: 

  • Waking up in the mornings with a headache more than twice a week
  • Sore or painful jaw muscles
  • Tense facial muscles throughout the day
  • Damage to the inside of the cheek wall
  • Jaw popping or clicking
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Worn down teeth, especially on the biting surfaces

According to the CDC, dentists across the nation are seeing a high number of patients who are presenting with signs of bruxism. The Bruxism Association reports that stress levels are the strongest predictor of teeth grinding, responsible for 70% of cases. Because many people could not visit the dentist for months during the COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions placed on dental practices, many people have been suffering from bruxism for months without knowing it.

If you notice any of the signs that you are grinding your teeth, please contact Juban Cowen Dental Care. We are here to help you protect your smile.

Posted on Behalf of Juban Cowen Dental Care