Sleep Better for Your Teeth

Posted on May 16, 2013 in General oral health

Do you have a to-do list 5 miles long but never feel like there is enough time in the day to get everything done? You're not alone!  54% of Americans are concerned about the level of stress in their lives – for good reason too! Teeth grinding – also called bruxism – is one way our bodies react to stress and anxiety. You also may grind your teeth due to sleep disorders, an abnormal bite or teeth that are missing or crooked.

Symptoms include:

• Teeth grinding or clenching that could be loud enough to awaken your partner.
• Teeth that are worn down, flattened, fractured or chipped.
• Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth.
• Increased tooth sensitivity.
• Dull headaches.
• Jaw soreness or tooth pain.
• Neck and earaches.

Children also can experience teeth grinding, but it's not as damaging a habit because their teeth and jaws grow and change. Most children outgrow teeth grinding by adolescence.

During Better Sleep Month, we want to remind you not to let your mouth take the brunt of your stress. Try positive stress-reducing techniques instead.

Here are some strategies:

• Change your outlook. Try to see other life events as positive challenges rather than stressors.
• Eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet and get enough sleep.
• Exercise regularly.
• Practice relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga, stretching and deep breathing.

If you have any of the above symptoms, make sure to visit your dentist as soon as possible.