Stress can cause, contribute to, and exacerbate many health conditions. So if you’re wondering what bruxism has to do with stress and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), wonder no more. Stress isn’t proven to directly cause bruxism, but it certainly doesn’t help. In today’s fast-paced society, stressors are everywhere. Whether you’re fighting traffic on your way to and from work, getting chewed out by your boss, arguing with your spouse, yelling at your kids, or simply keeping a very hectic schedule, you might find yourself clenching and grinding most when you are feeling tense. Bruxism should be brought to the attention of the Temecula dentists at Oasis Dental Group. Together you can discuss your treatment options, and prevent stress from damaging your teeth.

Stress and Bruxism

Bruxism is chronic teeth grinding and/or clenching of your jaw when under stress. It can happen anytime throughout the day, but is most common while sleeping. An estimated 8 percent of Americans grind their teeth. Stress in the form of anxiety, anger, tension, or frustration, can trigger bruxism in people without them even being aware of it. Knowing the symptoms of bruxism can help you seek treatment, before damage is done to your teeth. Some symptoms include:

  • Worn or shortened  teeth
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Gum inflammation or receding gums
  • Loose teeth or tooth loss
  • Pain or stiffness in the jaw
  • Earaches and/or headaches
  • Pain in the facial muscles
  • Difficulty opening your mouth
  • Painful clicking or  popping sound when opening or closing your mouth
  • A shift or change in bite

Bruxism and TMD

Just as stress is related to bruxism, bruxism is often linked to TMD. The continuous clenching and grinding can damage alignment of your jaw joint, as well as the ability to smoothly chew, yawn, and speak. Various long term damage possibilities are a real concern, such as chronic inflammation of your face, neck, jaw, head, shoulders, and back.

About Your Temecula Dentists

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of teeth grinding or TMD, your dentists at Oasis Family Dental can provide you with expert recommendations on your unique case. We are part of Riverside Dental Group and Associates and proudly cater to the dental needs of families from Temecula and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment with our dentists, call (951) 695-2290.