Life comes with many responsibilities and pressures. Between juggling our professional and personal lives, we often come overwhelmed and stressed. Life’s stressors and tragedies can manifest as dental problems, too. While many patients realize that their anxieties and worries affect their general wellbeing, they may not recognize the effect stress places on oral health. Our dentist explains how certain dental conditions can manifest from overwhelming stress.
Bruxism involves the grinding and clenching of teeth. Many times, patients are unaware that they are engaging in this bad dental habit. Bruxism may occur during sleep or throughout the day. Stress and anxiety typically give patients a compulsion to clench their jaws or scrape teeth against each other. Over time, this action ultimately becomes a habit and presents a variety of risks to dental health. Bruxism will wear tiny cracks in tooth enamel, which leaves teeth vulnerable to bacteria the cause cavities. A combination of untreated tooth decay and weakened enamel may cause teeth to develop substantial cracks and chips. Decay and damaged teeth will require restorations to prevent further damage.
Teeth grinding and clenching causes TMJ disorder, a condition where the joints connecting the jaw to the skull on each side of the mouth are strained by unnecessary pressure. This disorder often produces debilitating pain and discomfort. Strained and stressed temporomandibular joints affect a patient’s ability to open and close the mouth, especially when speaking and eating. Furthermore, TMJ disorder may cause a malocclusion over time and lead to further tooth wear and tear.
Fortunately, these conditions are treatable at our dental practice. Not only will we offer guidance on stress reduction techniques, we might suggest the use night guards and restorative dentistry to help preserve oral health. For patients with bruxism and TMJ disorder, mouth guards worn at night prevent damage when patients attempt to clench or grind their teeth. A night guard also helps reposition the jaws to eliminate unnecessary strain on the TMJs. In addition to prescribing a mouth guard, our dentist may need to fill cavities and place crowns.
To schedule an appointment with our friendly dentist, contact EuroDental Studio today.