How Can Stress Be Destroying Your Teeth?

August 15, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — drjamesblock @ 1:42 pm

person grinding their teethIf you’re stressed out more frequently than you’d like to admit, you’re not alone. Everyday Health conducted a survey and found that one-third of their participants stated they have visited their doctor about stress-related issues. One of those problems is silent and may only appear while you’re sleeping, it’s bruxism. Chronic stress is a national epidemic for everyone, despite demographics, and can be hard to treat because the cause is typically so complex. So, the best you can do is notice the impact it’s having on your body and visit your dentist in Fremont to help save your teeth from stress-related grinding and clenching. Read on to learn more about this issue and how you can protect your oral health.

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding and clenching, impacts over 40 million Americans and is having destructive effects on their teeth. Typically, stress-related bruxism occurs when people are asleep. It involves the rhythmic movement of the jaw, sometimes when teeth come into contact, sometimes not. This condition can occur in people of all ages and different demographics and often goes undiagnosed unless they recognize the symptoms. These common signs to look out for include:

  • Worn-down, chipped, or fractured teeth.
  • Increased tooth sensitivity.
  • Jaw, neck, and facial pain.
  • Earaches.
  • Chronic, dull headaches.

Not all grinding and clenching occurs at night, though. Most people who grind and clench their teeth while they’re awake are often unaware of their habit and realize it during their routine checkup and cleaning with their dentist.

Why Does Your Body Respond to Stress by Clenching and Grinding?

During your daily life, you most likely have to swallow your anxiety and stress to continue being productive and get your work down. When you lay down to sleep, these accumulated feelings don’t just dissipate. In fact, they’ll often hash themselves out in a more-destructive way like grinding and clenching your teeth at night. Treating what’s causing your stress can be difficult because the reason it’s occurring is often complex. However, to keep your body healthy and happy, it’s important to recognize how it’s processing the stress and take proper preventive measures.

How Can You Protect Your Oral Health?

It can be easy to ignore stress or believe you’re handling it when it’s actually having a huge impact on your overall wellbeing. Although you may not notice it, this condition can eventually lead to an increased risk of developing a variety of oral health problems like gum disease, cavities, and infections.

To prevent these issues from causing you even more stress, be proactive and visit your dentist for a custom-fitted nightguard. This will reduce the impact that the condition has on your teeth. You’ll be grateful you took the right steps to not get caught up in a perpetual stress-cycle!

About the Author

Dr. James Block is a third-generation dentist who is passionate about easing his patients’ oral discomfort and giving them the treatment they need. He is an active member of several professional organizations including the State of California Dental Association. This allows him to keep up-to-date with the latest advancements in his field. For questions or to schedule an appointment to get a custom-crafted nightguard, visit his website or call 510-793-0801.


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