Most of us are feeling elevated levels of stress right now, and who could blame us with everything happening in the world? However, your Ankeny, IA, dentist understands that elevated stress could lead to chronic teeth grinding, an issue also known as bruxism. In today’s blog, we’re looking at this connection and how to protect your smile.
The Causes of Teeth Grinding
What causes people to start grinding their teeth on a near nightly basis? A number of factors could be responsible, such as tooth loss, misalignment, bite imbalance, TMJ disorder, or even an injury to the face or jaw. However, elevated stress is also a major cause too! When we start suffering from bruxism, this could lead to headaches and migraines, soreness in the jaw and face, or pain in the neck and shoulders. Due to the pressure on the teeth, tooth sensitivity and toothaches could develop as well. Unless treated, bruxism could not only wear down enamel, but also crack and chip teeth too, which increases the risk of tooth decay and dental infections.
The Link to Stress
Since stress is a major cause, taking steps to help limit your anxiety during this time could be beneficial as well. To limit your stress, try to create a new schedule to help stay on top of your tasks, such as suddenly working from home or homeschooling children. Make time for breathing exercises, workouts, or to take a walk (while practicing good social distancing of course). A good sleep schedule could also help, as being home all the time has thrown many people off their normal routines. If you begin to experience one or more of the symptoms we discussed in the section above, then let us know.
Since we’re still here for emergency treatment, if you encounter pain in a tooth, we can help. With dental bonding or a crown, we can repair damage caused by bruxism and prevent worsening discomfort or the risk of losing your tooth. When our doors open, we can help address bruxism with orthodontics or even with a custom-made oral appliance, which is worn at night and helps ease strain on the joints. The appliance then places a barrier between the upper and lower sets of teeth to help reduce the risk of further damage.
Do You Have Questions About Safeguarding Your Smile?
We want to help members of our community care for their smiles from home, and avoid serious complications. To learn more about our approach to improved oral health, then please schedule an appointment by calling Peddicord Family Dentistry in Ankeny, IA, today at (515) 963-3339. We also proudly serve patients of all ages who live in Bondurant, Polk City, and all surrounding communities.