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Stress, Worry, & Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)

» 23 September 2011 » In Dental News »

Teeth Grinding Bruxism Cure | Arlington TX Dentist

How Your Dentist Can Reduce the Effects of the Economic Crisis

Teeth Grinding Getting You Down?

You’ve gone to bed worried about your job security, as your company has stopped growing and talk has begun regarding cutbacks and layoffs. You may be concerned regarding house payments or the upcoming budget strain of a child returning to school after the summer break. Anxiety over the state of your investments, and whether the decision to buy that stock will come back to bite you, may be clouding your mind. Apprehension regarding the weakening economy dictates your bedtime mood and with a mind teeming with uneasiness, you fall asleep. The next morning brings even more discomfort as you wake with a splitting headache and a sore jaw. While brushing your teeth you notice that some of them feel loose, so despondently you head off to work feeling like your body is falling apart along with the economy. Perhaps it’s time to schedule an appointment with a dentist?

The Symptoms of Bruxism

While there are many contributing factors to the shaky economy and solutions may be convoluted and varied, the good news is that the headache, sore jaw, and loose teeth may all be due to a single cause that is easily treated: bruxism, more commonly known as “teeth grinding.” Bruxism is when a person clenches their teeth together tightly, or grinds them back and forth against each other, usually doing so unconsciously or while sleeping.

The symptoms of bruxism include:

  1. Grinding or clenching teeth together, sometimes loudly enough to attract attention.
  2. Fractured, chipped teeth or teeth that appear to be worn down or flattened.
  3. A loss of tooth enamel and exposed dentin which can lead to an increase in tooth sensitivity.
  4. A tightened, tired-feeling, or sore jaw.
  5. Headaches or earaches due to jaw muscles contracting continuously.
  6. Continual facial pain.
  7. Chewing on the inside of the mouth or seeing indentations appearing on the tongue.
  8. Upper and lower teeth that are abnormally aligned.

Bruxism can be due to a myriad of causes, and often there is more than one reason why a person may find themselves habitually grinding their teeth. Stress, anxiety, tension, frustration, and suppression of anger are common causes for bruxism. Not only is emotion a possible culprit, but so is personality type, as those who have aggressive, competitive, or hyperactive qualities may find themselves in the bruxism boat.  Another reason for teeth grinding is suffering from a disorder, such as Huntington’s, or from side effects of certain psychiatric medications. Even young children may grind their teeth as a side effect of teething or in response to pain from an earache.

Get Relief from Teeth Grinding

Thankfully your local dentist is well acquainted with bruxism, its symptoms, causes, and treatments and has a solution that will likely put the discomfort to rest. The dentist may suggest a mouthguard or nightguard to prevent teeth grinding, which can be worn discreetly and comfortable, even while sleeping. A splint that can be fitted over your upper or lower teeth is often used to discourage and discontinue teeth grinding. Sometimes treatment isn’t even found in the dentist’s office, but by getting assistance or therapy in managing stress or correcting the behavior contributing to bruxism. And not everyone even requires treatment, as children often grow out of it and adults often desist once the cause of their stress, anger, or frustrations are put to rest. If you awake with a headache, see that your teeth are being worn down, or get strange looks from people overhearing the grinding noise coming from your mouth, don’t worry. Just head to the dentist you usually frequent for your teeth whitening or oral hygiene needs, and he’ll be able to diagnose and treat the problem if it is indeed bruxism. Your dentist may not be able to resolve all of the economy’s issues, but he can help with the some of the stressful effects and make your life a bit easier.

Dallas Dental Office News Update, By Dallas Texas Dentist, William H. Miller
Woodhill Medical Park, 8305 Walnut Hill Lane, Suite 235, Dallas, Texas, 75231
Phone: (214) 692-1050

Dr. Miller

About WILLIAM MILLER

Dr. William H. Miller, D.M.D. has been practicing dentistry in Texas since 1985. For over 30 years, he has had a passion for personalized, quality care dentistry. He has been in the DFW area his entire career and is conveniently located on Walnut Hill Lane across from Presbyterian Hospital in North Dallas. His office offers a wide range of dental services that include crowns, bridges, implant services, dentures, root canals, fillings, cosmetic dentistry and other restorative procedures. [more]

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