Do You Suffer from Anxiety-Related Tooth Grinding?
Bruxism, also called teeth grinding, is a common behavior that is often related to stress and anxiety. If you grind or clench your teeth at night, you’re not alone; about one in three people suffers from the condition. You likely grind your teeth at night without realizing it. In fact, because of the noise, your spouse may have been aware of the problem before you were. If you grind their teeth thousands of times during the night and day, this places so much pressure on your jaw that it wears down your teeth and can even cause painful temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome.
What are the Symptoms of Tooth Grinding?
If you’re not aware that you’re grinding your teeth, your dentist may be the first to spot the problem. People who are most at risk for the condition include those who are worried, nervous, aggressive, competitive, angry or frustrated. It commonly accompanies sleep apnea, snoring or other sleep disorders. The following symptoms are associated with chronic tooth grinding:
- Earache or a feeling of fullness in ears
- Headache or neck pain
- Jaw pain
- Tooth sensitivity
How Does Stress Affect Teeth Grinding and Sleep?
Stressful situations tend to make bruxism worse. In fact, teeth grinding may begin after a trauma such as a car accident or a sudden loss. I’s easy to understand why clenching your jaw or teeth is a natural reaction to stress, since a nerve in your jaw leads directly to the area of your brain that controls the fight-or-flight response. Anxiety and tooth grinding can become a vicious cycle. When you grind your teeth at night, it frequently awakens your brain from deep sleep. The lack of proper sleep exacerbates anxiety problems, and the increased anxiety leads to more tooth grinding. Medications, therapy, and mouth guards are available to improve symptoms of TMJ syndrome and protect your teeth. Ask your dentist in St. Clair Shores about treatment options for bruxism.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in St. Clair Shores, call Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores today at (248) 850-1809 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in St. Clair Shores. With 8 affiliated practices throughout Michigan, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores.