Have you ever thought how your stress may be impacting your teeth, smile and jaw? Before you go clenching your teeth in frustration, you should think about the longer-term effects stress can have on your teeth.
Stress and your teeth go hand-in-hand, as there can be clenching of the jaws, grinding of the teeth and other reactions without people even knowing it. This can lead to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, facial pain, broken or fractured teeth, headaches and, well, more stress. Even more eye-opening is the fact stress-related disorders are the leading causes of death in America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
So how do you address stress and protect your teeth at the same time? Here are five of the best ways:
1. Visit your dentist – If you have oralfacial pain or facial pain, that’s a good sign you have too much stress in your life. But an even better way is to visit your dentist regularly. Dentists can look for signs of stress and grinding on your teeth via a thorough examination, as well as provide treatment and give advice on how to rude the risk of teeth damage or facial trauma.
2. Wear a nightguard – One treatment your dentist may suggest is wearing a nightguard when you sleep. Have a headache or a sore jaw every morning? It is likely because of grinding and clenching during the night, which a customized nightguard can address. Then you’ll get more sleep and have more energy for the holidays.
3. Exercise and eat healthy – Sugary foods can lead to cavities and other teeth issues. Instead, take your stress out on a nice run, walk, hike or time in the weight room. Exercising and eating healthy reduce stress and help protect your teeth.
4. Maintain proper oral hygiene – You may be busy, but don’t let your oral hygiene suffer for it. Brushing and flossing twice a day takes only minutes and go a long way to ensuring your long-term oral health.
5. Take a break! – Whether it’s a hot cup of tea or trip to the spa, take regular breaks. It’s helpful to identify which specific activities cause the most stress and focus on taking breaks during them.
Avoid TMJ pain or other oral health problems by keeping your stress in check and visiting Winterholler Dentistry to evaluate your teeth. Schedule a consultation today if you are grinding your teeth or in any kind of facial pain.