Did you know that 1 in 10 adults grind their teeth in their sleep? And that an even larger amount, 1 in 3, clench, grind their teeth, or jaws, during the day? If this comes across as news to you, you’re not alone, even the people grinding their teeth aren’t aware!
The act of grinding your teeth is a condition called Bruxism, and most of the time takes place unconsciously when people are both awake and asleep. Identifying the condition can be difficult because of the tendency for it to fly under the consciousness of those affected. And while the condition can seem relatively harmless on the surface, it can have a slew of negative impacts on one’s overall health. Bruxism can cause headaches, pain, tooth damage, and affect your gum and jaw health.
The condition, while tied to your oral health, originates from a much different place — stress. Stress is seen as the underlying driver of bruxism, with patients developing the habit during high-stress periods, and carrying it over, even when things calm down.
So, if you or someone you know, thinks that they’ve developed a habit of teeth grinding, try reducing your stress level. Here are some ways to tackle stress as a way to improve both oral and overall health and hopefully get the grinding in check.
Any amount of physical exercise has been proven to have a significant impact on stress levels. Introducing walking, running, or any other activity that combats sedentary behavior can lessen your stress levels.
Limit Caffeine Consumption
Around 80% of Americans report consuming caffeine daily and while caffeine use isn’t necessarily a bad thing, the amount you consume could be affecting your mood and stress levels. Try lessening your intake and see if that has any impact on perceived stress.
Spending time in nature has proven to go a long way in reducing anxiety, stress, and depression. Even more, incorporating intentional time outside has a slew of health benefits not just related to teeth grinding.
Limit Screen Time
While sitting in front of a computer or spending time on your phone may be required, attempting to limit that time has been proven to reduce stress. Screen time can even impact your ability to sleep, which is directly tied to levels of stress and sometimes Bruxism itself.
Limiting stress is no doubt important, but if you haven’t seen a change in your Bruxism (or its easier to register symptoms) consider scheduling an appointment with a dentist. Having a professional diagnosis can go a long way in getting the bad habit in check.
South Charlotte Dentistry is well equipped and extremely experienced when it comes to addressing Bruxism, offering mouth guards and other measures to keep you and your teeth safe. So, reach out and schedule a consultation today and stop the continual damage to your teeth.