Anxiety, stress, and worry impact practically everybody at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, these emotional states don’t just affect your mental health. They can also manifest into bad habits that can heavily harm the health of your teeth and gums. According to the American Sleep Association, bruxism is a nightly teeth grinding and clenching condition that impacts about 20 percent of adults in America. A common cause for this issue is stress. Read on to learn how your dentist in Bullard can help protect your oral health from the effects of anxiety.
The Connection Between Grinding & Anxiety
In a study published in the Journal of Research in Personality in 2010, researchers set out to learn whether or not the harmful effects of bruxism were related to emotional changes and symptoms of stress and anxiety. They prepared a group of 470 participants and had them complete a dental history questionnaire and a personality assessment. By the end of the assessments, they ended up with a sample size of 385 participants with a mean age of 56.
After reviewing all of the questionnaires, about 22 percent of the participants reported that they grind their teeth at night. Participants who reported symptoms of anxiety were more likely to say that their jaw makes clicking sounds, they have difficulty chewing, and they experienced more general oral issues associated with bruxism, such as TMD.
Symptoms of Teeth Grinding
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if you grind your teeth because it primarily occurs at night while you’re asleep. This is why many cases go undiagnosed and cause more severe oral health problems down the line. Here are some signs to keep an eye out for at home to know if you have bruxism:
- Grinding noises heard by your partner or roommate while you’re sleeping
- Jaw soreness
- Pain while chewing
- Difficulty sleeping
- Worn-down teeth
- Dental sensitivity
- A dull headache in the morning
- Dry mouth
- Damaged or loose teeth
If you notice any of these issues, be sure to visit your dentist in Bullard for a thorough oral checkup. They’ll be able to develop a preventive plan to keep your teeth from becoming damaged.
Preventing Bruxism From Damaging Teeth
If you are experiencing bruxism symptoms, your dentist in Bullard can craft you a well-made and completely customized nightguard to help preserve your teeth and prevent an unexpected visit to your emergency dentist. After taking impressions of your mouth, they’ll send them off to their dental laboratory to make a high-quality protective mouthguard that is made to withstand everyday use. The cushion between your teeth will prevent jaw injuries as well as stressed muscles. Typically, the process takes place over two appointments to ensure the fit of your nightguard and to make any final adjustments.
If your bruxism is left unaddressed, it could cause you serious headaches down the road. This condition drastically increases the likelihood of breaking and damaging teeth, hurting the jaw, and having facial muscle spasms. With the help of your dentist, you can avoid all of these issues and get a worry-free night of rest as you work towards the root cause of your anxiety and stress.
About the Author
Dr. Tad Morgan is dedicated to helping his patients maintain healthy smiles and avoid preventable visits to the dentist. He has completed over 1,000 hours of continuing education courses on a variety of treatments, allowing him to provide high-quality and thorough comprehensive dental care under one roof. He enjoys improving his patients’ everyday lives by treating chronic problems that put their health at risk. For questions or to schedule a checkup to learn how bruxism is impacting your teeth and gums, visit his website or call 903-825-1112.