Did you know that stress affects oral health? Bruxism is a condition where you grind, gnash, or clench your teeth. Not only does this mean you may clench your teeth while you’re awake, but it also means you grind your teeth at night. When you grind at night, it’s also known as sleep bruxism. According to The Mayo Clinic, if you do this, you’re also prone to other sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea or snoring. Although mild cases of bruxism may not require treatment, more severe cases of bruxism can cause headaches, jaw problems, damaged teeth, and more.

More on this subject from The Mayo Clinic.

Bruxism Causes – What We Know 

Now that we know what bruxism is, it’s important to look at some of the probable causes. Stress is a major factor in teeth grinding/clenching and stress affects oral health. When our levels of stress have peaked, we may not even know we’re clenching or grinding until we see our dentist or notice that we’re doing it. According to Mayo Clinic, stress isn’t the only factor for Bruxism.

Additional factors include:

  • Anger, frustration, and stress
  • Age – Sometimes Bruxism is prevalent in children, but can be outgrown into adulthood
  • Personality type – some aggressive personality types can increase the risk
  • Family members who also experience bruxism
  • Medications – Alcohol, tobacco use, and certain medications can increase the risk
  • Other disorders – Bruxism has been associated with other disorders, such as sleep apnea, mental health disorders, dementia, etc.

Is Teeth Grinding Harmful?

Short answer, yes; teeth grinding is harmful to your mouth. When the teeth are grinding, it can lead to:

  • Tooth fracturing
  • Tooth loosening
  • Loss of teeth
  • Changes in the appearance of the face
  • Jaw pain
  • And more

Check out this article from Healthline: 7 Causes of Tight Jaw

What to Do to Stop Bruxism

At Adams Dental Group, we can set you up with a mouth guard, or night guard, to protect your teeth and jaw from any grinding at night. This mouth guard will be made specifically for your mouth, so the fit is perfect. If your Bruxism is linked to stress, and we know that stress affects oral health, then there are some stress-reduction techniques you can try.

  1. Meditation
  2. Yoga
  3. Talk therapy
  4. Exercise

Related Article: Night Guard: Do You Clench or Grind Your Teeth in Your Sleep?

You can also try tongue and jaw muscle exercises! This exercise is from and can help relax your facial muscles to reduce clenching.

  • “Open your mouth wide while touching your tongue to your front teeth. This helps relax the jaw.”
  • “Say the letter “N” out loud. This will keep your top and bottom teeth from touching and help you avoid clenching.”

More about Bruxism from Healthline: How to Stop Grinding Teeth at Night and During the Day?

Related Article: Oral Health: Did You Know there’s a Mouth Body Connection? 

How to Stop Teeth Grinding: Get a Custom Night Guard 

By knowing that stress affects oral health and contributes to causing you to grind your teeth, a patient can take many steps to help their mouth. Talk with your dentist if you think your stress may be causing you to grind your teeth.

Along with taking steps to reduce your stress, a custom night guard is a great solution to help stop teeth grinding. A night guard will stop your teeth from grinding while you sleep and protect your teeth from any wear or trauma. When a night guard is placed in the mouth, it provides cushion to the jaw and loosens any tension.

When stressed during the day, try to be conscious of clenching your jaw. When you know it is happening, you can be aware of it and stop clenching throughout the day. This will lessen the pressure in your jaws and on your teeth. Remember, stress counseling, exercise programs, and physical therapy might be good options for lowering your stress and stopping your teeth from grinding. If you’re concerned about Bruxism or notice any signs, please contact us today!

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Local dentist, Travis A. Roberts and his experienced, friendly team at Adams Dental Group offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the Kansas City, KS area. We have two locations that are conveniently located and offer appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At Adams Dental Group, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to specialty procedures, including dental implants, dentures, endodontic or root canal treatment, teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at our West location (913) 296-8030 to schedule an appointment.

April 27th, 2021

Posted In: Dental Health Tips

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