You may already know that teeth grinding (bruxism) can be caused by stress. But did you know that there are a lot of other dental problems that are also related to stress? In this blog from Fischl Dental Associates, we’ll take a look at a few of the top dental issues related to stress, and how they can be treated. Let’s get started.
Teeth Grinding Can Be Caused By Stress
Sleep disorders and an abnormal bite can contribute to teeth grinding, but the most common cause of teeth grinding is stress. Nervous tension, anger, frustration, and general anxiety and stress can cause you to clench and grind your teeth, often without even knowing it.
This may happen during the day, and you might find yourself clenching your teeth without realizing it. But grinding is much more common at night. You may grind your teeth together at night loudly enough for your sleeping partner to hear it.
Over time, grinding leads to premature tooth wear & tear. This can be prevented by wearing a plastic night guard, which fits over your teeth and prevents direct tooth-to-tooth contact when grinding.
Lifestyle changes, such as meditation, reducing stress, maintaining better sleep habits, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol can also help reduce the severity of grinding in most patients with stress-related bruxism.
Stress Can Lead To TMJ Or Orofacial Pain
Stress is also associated with TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) and other types of orofacial pain, often located in the jaw muscles. This can be caused by clenching and grinding, which puts a lot of stress on the jaw muscles and joints.
This is particularly common in patients who grind or clench their teeth and have problems with the alignment of their bite. Clenching the teeth can make these issues worse, and put unnatural stress on the jaw and facial muscles.
Canker Sores Are Related To Stress
Canker sores, also known as mouth ulcers, are a type of non-contagious ulcer that occurs within the mouth, usually due to trauma like biting your cheeks. Chewing on the cheeks and lips is a common stress response in many individuals, so if you frequently chew on the inside of your mouth, you may be more prone to canker sores.
While canker sores are not harmful, they can be very painful and can even make eating and talking difficult, in some cases. If you regularly chew your lips and cheeks, ask your dentist for tips on how to stop. This can help prevent canker sores.
Know The Link Between Stress & Other Common Dental Issues – And Get Help!
It’s not always easy to de-stress and relax, but doing so is good for your entire body, including your mouth. As you can see, there are quite a few dental health issues that are related to stress, and it’s important to get help if you suffer from one or more of these problems.
Not sure what to do? Come to Fischl Dental Associates for a consultation with Dr. Paul Fischl or Dr. Marie Bradley Fischl. They can provide you with guidance on proper oral care and minimizing stress, and treat conditions like teeth grinding and TMJ to provide you with relief. Contact us online or give us a call at (847) 864-0822 to get started.