Dental Tips Blog

Feb
4

Is Stress Destroying Your Smile?

Everyday stress like work, traffic or busy schedules can make us experience tightness of the jaw and teeth clenching. It’s just one of the ways that some of us handle a stressful lifestyle. Unfortunately if we experience this day after day, our teeth can suffer from it. Even though tooth enamel is the hardest thing in our bodies, when it’s worn against itself over and over it can cause problems like:

  • Broken or chipped teeth
  • Worn, flat tooth edges
  • Broken restorations
  • TMJ disorders
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain

Since wear and fractures are irreversible, it’s best to stop them from happening in the first place. Your dentist can screen for minor areas of wear at each of your dental checkups to see if this is a problem. Some of these areas will show up on the chewing surfaces while others look like worn or broken enamel along the gumlines. Monitoring this wear as well as assessing the areas around your TMJ can determine if grinding or clenching is becoming a significant concern. If it is, you’ll need to take some steps to keep it from getting worse.

Wearing an occlusal guard at night or during stressful times of the day (such as your work commute) can prevent tooth damage and also reduce the strain on your TMJ. Each mouth guard is custom fitted so that it feels comfortable while also staying securely in place whenever you’re wearing it. The durable acrylic material keeps the teeth slightly apart, which eliminates wear and disengages the TMJ muscles.

If you suspect that you’re beginning to experience side effects of grinding or clenching, let your dentist know right away.

Posted on behalf of:
Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
1295 Hembree Rd B202
Roswell, GA 30076
(770) 475-6767

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