It seems everyone is stressed to some degree and the search for stress-relief is common. Medication can help…along with walking, yoga and regular exercise. But did you know that stress can show up as unconscious jaw clenching or teeth grinding? This is called bruxism and it affects approximately 40 million adults and children. Some of the symptoms of bruxism are headache, facial pain, tight or painful jaw muscles and broken fillings.
- As teeth rub together, the outer layers of tooth enamel can wear away and the teeth become sensitive. Severe bruxism can damage your teeth and even break dental fillings.
- You may have been told by your partner that you “grind” your teeth while sleeping. This is called nocturnal bruxism, and sometimes results in waking with a dull headache, facial or jaw pain. If the pain is chronic, you may find that your bruxism is causing temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ.
- It’s possible you are grinding your teeth during the day and you are not even aware of it.
- It’s thought that bruxism may be a side effect of some medicines that treat depression, such as Prozac or Paxil, or it may be a symptom of diseases of the facial nerves and muscles.
- Bruxism symptoms may be alleviated by limiting your intake of caffeine.
- If you suffer from bruxism and think it may be stress-related, try to research strategies that will help you relax.
If you think you suffer from bruxism, don’t continue to suffer. There are treatment modalities that can help. At your consultation, Dr. Goldberg will discuss your sleep habits, your general health, any medications you are taking and look for the possible sources of your stress. He will also examine the alignment of your teeth and look for tenderness in your jaw and facial muscles. Call for a consultation today. We look forward to helping you: 973-328-1225.