For the average adult, stress is hard to avoid. The question is, how do you respond to stress? If you are like most people, your mental stress can trigger some physical habits or symptoms. Unfortunately, one of the most common stress-induced habits is bruxism, otherwise known as the act of clenching or grinding the teeth.
Whether you engage in bruxism while you are stressed at work or during your nighttime sleep, it is often a subconscious habit that you may not even be aware that you are doing. Therefore, it becomes important to learn the warning signs of teeth grinding so that you let a dentist intervene and protect your oral health.
The Problem with Bruxism
If you chronically grind or clench your teeth, you’ll likely reap some uncomfortable consequences over time. According to Business Insider, every time you grind your teeth, you’re exerting as much as 200 pounds of pressure per square inch. Our teeth and jaw joint (TMJ) simply were not meant to withstand so much force and pressure. Understandably, you’ll see and feel the results if bruxism is not treated or addressed.
The Telltale Signs of Teeth Clenching and Grinding
Teeth grinding doesn’t always produce noticeable symptoms, especially if it is mild. However, bruxism can also be severe enough to cause jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth and other costly dental problems.
Here are some top warning signs of bruxism to watch out for:
- Grinding that is loud enough to wake up your sleeping partner
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Sore, painful jaw
- Chronic facial pain
- Teeth that are worn down, flattened or chipped
- Damaged dental work (crowns, bridges, dentures, fillings)
If you think you may be grinding or clenching your teeth, talk to Dr. Wayne Suway in Marietta to learn your treatment options. Treatment can vary widely for each patient. It could be as simple as practicing self-help steps to lower your stress levels or getting a custom mouthguard to wear while you sleep to protect your teeth from nighttime bruxism. Some patients may even benefit from orthodontic treatment if a misaligned bite is causing you to clench. We are confident we can find a solution for you. Call our Marietta dental clinic today.