Stress & Oral Habits
Posted on 10/15/2019
Stress & Oral Habits

The effects of stress on our body are multifaceted. Stress not only affects your body, it impacts your oral health as well. One specific way is by clenching or grinding your teeth, also known as bruxism or bruxing. When we grind or clench, we damage our teeth and dental/orthodontic work by:

  • Wearing down the tooth’s surface
  • Increasing likelihood of cavities
  • Damaging or scraping away the enamel
  • Increasing sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Damaging crowns and fillings
  • Loosening teeth
  • Becoming prone to tooth loss
  • Causing Jaw pain and headache

It is common to clench or grind your teeth without your knowledge, as it often occurs during sleep. If you suspect nocturnal bruxing, your doctors at Mack Orthodontics in Bettendorf, Maquoketa, and Eldridge are here to help you find relief.

Why Do We Clench & Grind Our Teeth?

Stress is the main reason for clenching and/or grinding our teeth, whether it happens nocturnally or during the day. Here are other common factors that can lead to bruxing:

  • Misaligned teeth
  • Overuse of caffeine
  • Side effects of certain prescription medications
  • Use of alcohol, tobacco, or drugs

Solutions & Treatments

As most bruxism is stress-related, the simplest way to reduce teeth-clenching and grinding, is by managing stress in positive ways. Relaxation techniques may help, but a custom occlusal guard may be the best long-term option. An occlusal guard is a custom-made mouthguard (similar to an athletic mouthguard) that is worn during at night. The occlusal guard keeps teeth from touching one another during sleep and also maintains proper jaw alignment during sleep to help reduce jaw pain.

Contact Mack Orthodontics Today!

If you experience any of the above symptoms related to clenching and grinding your teeth, please contact our Bettendorf, Maquoketa, or Eldridge office to let us know. We don’t want anything bad to happen to your teeth or orthodontics that may affect treatment time and results, so full disclosure of any dental concerns or problems is always best!