Your body can go through a variety of physical reactions to periods of stress. What you might not realize is that some of these responses can have undesirable effects on your smile and oral health, particularly if the matter is not being managed, or if episodes of stress last for longer stretches of time. Stress can sometimes affect a person while they sleep – without realizing it, you may begin grinding your teeth at night. Without some form of intervention, this problem – often referred to as bruxism – can lead to dental damage and jaw pain. Your Prairie Village, KS dentist can provide a special oral guard to stop teeth grinding from becoming a serious oral health problem.
How Worried Should You Be About Teeth Grinding?
If you think you have started to grind your teeth at night, you should be concerned about this development and its impact on your well-being. As a person continues to clench or grind their jaw, they create pressure on their teeth that can cause physical trauma. Milder wear and tear can be a cosmetic concern, and it may motivate a person to seek out dental work to improve their smile. If the problem continues, you may chip or crack teeth. In this situation, it can take a dental crown to fully protect a tooth.
What Can You Do To Put A Stop To Bruxism?
With a custom guard for chronic issues with bruxism, you can rest without problems as the appliance keeps your teeth apart. If you are trying to control this habit so that it is not an issue, consider the following:
- Take care to cut back on the alcohol and caffeine that you consume in a day
- Pay attention to your stress levels, particularly at night
- If you grind your teeth reflexively while awake, train yourself to stop this habit
- Put a stop to idly biting or chewing on hard surfaces
Other Stress-Related Issues That May Affect Your Smile
Stress can do more than just increase your risk for teeth grinding. In a stressful period, you may lose focus when it comes to your diet, or you may find yourself taking worse care of your teeth when brushing or flossing. Be sure to treat your oral health as a priority in difficult times, and be careful to check yourself if you fall into habits that leave you vulnerable to tooth decay. You should also know that stress and anxiety may cause you to develop dry mouth, which can leave you with less protection against oral health issues.
Your Prairie Village, KS Dentist Can Help You Maintain Healthy Teeth
At our Prairie Village, KS dentist’s office, Dr. Browne has helped people deal with a range of oral health concerns. One of those concerns, bruxism, can be a serious problem if it is not being managed. To learn more about bruxism, and about how your smile can be protected, call our Prairie Village dentist’s office at 913-901-8585.