26th June 2015
I’m So Stressed Out!!
Tooth grinding and tooth clenching….such a common problem!
More and more patients are presenting with this problem these days. Why? Because we are living stressful lives. Whether it be at work, home, family, the kids…anything can trigger the habit. Children can suffer with this problem too….especially during this time of the year when exams are taking place. The problem often occurs whilst you are asleep, so many are not aware they are doing it until they see a dentist for help.
It can affect people’s lives significantly, e.g. jaw joint pain, difficulty in sleeping, broken fillings, tooth ache to name a few. The recent BBC program (see my other blogs) showed a young individual with teeth of an elderly man….all because of excessive acid erosion and tooth grinding habit.
What can be done about it?
Coping with the stress is key, but often difficult. Other techniques to reduce the symptoms can be used:
1. Become aware of the habit. When you notice that you are clenching or grinding your teeth during the day, try and tell yourself not to do it.
2. Avoid drinks or food that can affect your sleep, e.g. caffiene containing drinks. Also, avoid too many acidic drinks, as they can accelerate tooth wear.
3. Consider relaxtion techniques such as yoga, jaw exercises etc.
4. We can make a mouth guard for you to wear at night, easing the pressure from your bite.
5. Clinical Hynotherapy can be very effective, even on children. This is something we offer at the practice and has been a great success with patients. Contact Kerry Lewis at Midland Therapy Services for more information.
So, don’t suffer in silence. If you need help and advice, please come and see us or contact us.