Nighttime Grinding And the Stress Factor

Dentists and researchers aren’t completely agreed about the cause of nightly tooth-grinding or bruxism. But they are aligned on two points:

  1. at least partly, it’s related to daily stress, and
  2. it’s happening to more people.

It may sound funny, but it’s no joke: without food to absorb the impact, teeth can grind by night at ten times the force required to chew a steak, researchers estimate. The result: front teeth can be worn nearly to the gumline while molars can be chipped and cracked.

Two responses to tooth-grinding are possible. One is dental, the other is biochemical.

If you’re aware of a nightly grinding habit, we can fit you with a special mouthguard, or nightguard, that resists damaged teeth.

But if your grinding is stress-related, reducing the stress can relieve the problem altogether.

Biochemically, you can lower your body’s stress response by breathing deeply and exhaling completely. With mouth closed, slowly inhale until you cannot take in any more air. Then slowly exhale until your lungs feel empty.

What you’re doing is increasing the oxygen you take in, and that forces you to relax. Try it the next time a stressful occasion arises, or just before bed.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Do You Have to Get Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth extractions can make a lot of sense for most people. But there are a few exceptions where keeping your wisdom teeth might be OK. Here's how to tell if your wisdom teeth should be removed.

Feel Confident in Your Smile Again with New Veneers

Dental veneers can transform the way your smile looks. All it takes is two office visits to start enjoying a more beautiful smile — and greater self-confidence. Learn how veneers can help you get the smile you want.

Why Adults and Teens Love Invisalign®

If you're considering Invisalign treatment, you probably already know it's really popular. What you want to know is why. Here are five major benefits of Invisalign treatment, as well as a couple of special benefits just for teens.

How to Get and Maintain Your Whitest Smile

Keeping your smile its whitest isn’t difficult, but it takes some self-discipline to maintain an effective oral care routine. Your best smile comes from a combination of dentist visits and personal care at home.