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How Stress Might Be Hurting Your Teeth

We all know that stress can take a toll on our overall health. Chronically stressed people can develop anxiety disorders, sleeping disorders, and stress can even go as far as heightened blood pressure, risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease. In fact, stress is very bad for your health. But what toll does stress take on your oral health?

When it comes to oral health, stress can manifest itself in a number of ways that can hurt your teeth. In today’s society it can be pretty easy to get stressed out, there are a lot of balls in the air and a lot of juggling required to make ends meet. It is common to experience stress, but what is less common is teeth grinding as a manifestation of stress.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, 8% of adults grind their teeth at night. But, a recent article reveals that grinding may be on the rise.

Grinding your teeth and clenching your teeth is known as bruxism, and stress is a contributor to that. A 2010 study by Head & Face Medicine found that sleep bruxism is common in people who experience daily stress and problems at work. That means that the stress you feel at your desk to get things done, impress your boss, and move up in the company could be making you grind your teeth while you sleep.

It might not seem like a big deal to you that grinding is the way you release your stress, far better than some alternatives such as lashing out at coworkers, or having aggressive outbursts, but it has a big impact on your oral health.

Grinding or clenching your teeth leads to cracked, chipped, and broken teeth. Many people don’t realize that they are grinding at night until they break a tooth. If you are grinding your teeth because of stress, you will likely end up with multiple crowns and other dental procedures.

Try using a night guard or talk to you dentist about how you can stop grinding, or at least inhibit its affects on your teeth. Trying to de-stress may seem impossible, but it is key to leading a healthier life overall and it is crucial for your oral health.

Source 1, Source 2, Source 3