Under Pressure? Stress Affects Your Teeth, Says Dentist in DC

November 22, 2016

dentist in washington dc points to effect of stress on teethWhether you’re feeling good, bad, or just ok, did you know your mood can have a significant impact on your health? Like your teeth. When you’re stressed out, you are more likely to grind them and clench your jaw. The human jaw can exert up to 275 pounds, and possibly more. And that pressure and strain can lead to a whole slew of potential health problems. Weak and worn teeth that occur from clenching and grinding are more susceptible to decay. That’s because you grind away the protective layer of enamel with all that activity in your jaw — so your teeth are more sensitive, too.

The next time stressors at work or in your social life cause you to feel under major pressure, take note of how your jaw responds. If you’re like most people, it is in a constant state of clench and release. That leads to a lot of wear and tear on your delicate tooth enamel.

And if you stay stressed out most of the time, you are probably clenching and grinding your while you sleep at night. It’s the condition known as bruxism — and protecting your teeth with a mouthguard for nighttime grinding is a small investment that can give you a big payoff.

Frequent movement in the jaw from teeth grinding can also put a strain on the TMJ, or your temporomandibular joint. You may start to notice your jaw clicking or popping as a result of your teeth grinding.

Our Solution for Teeth Grinding

Dr. Yelena Obholz and her staff can treat your teeth grinding and prevent serious wear and tear on the teeth with a custom-fit mouthguard for bruxism. A small device worn during sleep, the night guard is fit to your unique teeth and can help you rest easy during the night. It’s portable and comfortable, so wearing it is a breeze no matter where you are.

Natural Remedies for Teeth Grinding

After you have taken the necessary preventive measures to protect your teeth from jaw clenching and grinding, there are some things you can do on your own to reduce stress and, with any luck, solve the original problem. Some patients benefit from mediation or talk therapy. Squeezing a stress ball or popping a rubber band around your wrist can also help to burn off some anxious energy. Still others prefer vigorous exercise, like an after-work run or brisk walk.

And when it’s time to unwind at night, skip the nightcap to prevent teeth grinding. Alcohol before bed is known to increase the occurrence of bruxism. Instead, try holding a warm compress against your jaw muscle, or the TMJ. Relaxing these nerves and tendons can reduce the jaw’s tendency to clench during sleep.

Let’s Discuss Your Oral Health Today!

Stressed out, slammed, totally frazzled– whatever word you use to describe your constant state of pressure, we are here for you and your teeth! Protect your smile from excessive jaw clenching and teeth grinding with a custom-fit mouth guard. Request an appointment with Dr. Obholz today!  

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