Stress can affect just about every part of your body. It raises your blood pressure, makes it difficult to sleep, and leaves you feeling grumpy and touchy. Stress can also affect your teeth. If you've noticed changes in your teeth, but haven't had any major change in diet or in your oral health habits, it may be due to stress.
Stress Leads to Bruxism
When you're stressed, you may begin doing small physical actions as a way of outwardly expressing your stress. Some people develop a tic above one eye, for example. Others may start grinding their teeth in their sleep. If you do this, you're dealing with what's called bruxism.
Bruxism can have a number of effects on your teeth. When you grind your teeth at night, you actually start to wear down your teeth. They become dull and may even hurt in the morning. You can also actually crack or chip your teeth, especially if you clench your jaw while grinding your teeth.
All of this grinding and clenching can also affect your jaw. You may develop a TMJ disorder or find that your teeth don't feel like they're aligned correctly in the morning. This can affect how you eat and speak.
What Can You Do? If you're overstressed, the only way of really dealing with it and with its side effects is to address the cause of the stress and learn how to relax. You may want to work with a therapist to learn some new relaxation techniques. You may also need to talk about the cause of your stress or take action to reduce stress.
You also need to call and make an appointment to come see us. Bruxism can leave permanent damage, and we need to examine your teeth as soon as possible to determine what needs to be done.
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