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The Relationship Between Stress and Bruxism

Managing stress is not easy. Sometimes, when we can't manage our stress levels, our body takes over and tries to manage it for us. The results are often health conditions ranging from insomnia to as far as heart problems. Stress really does manifest itself physically and bruxism is a clear sign of stress?

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is also known as teeth grinding. When stressed, you are more likely to sleep with a clenched jaw and grind your teeth. In the long run, this leads to brittle teeth. The problem with brittle teeth is that they are easily damaged when you continue to grind them together.

There is a clear link between insomnia and bruxism. When you find sleeping difficult you often grind your teeth without thinking about it. You may even grind your teeth subconsciously during the day.

Bruxism and Jaw Pain

When you experience pain during your sleep, you will find that you are much more likely to suffer from disturbed sleep or insomnia. In many ways, you can say the effects of bruxism cause a vicious cycle.

One thing leads to another. Before you know it, you are suffering from bruxism and insomnia. Whilst waking up with an aching pain in the jaw is the first symptom of bruxism.

What Can You Do About Bruxism and Insomnia?

The first thing you need to do is deal with the problem that is stressing you out. If the cause can't immediately be identified, it is important you take some physical actions. You should visit a dentist and ask for advice on how to look after your teeth. Investing in a mouthguard that you can wear when you sleep is another good idea. They are a non-invasive way of protecting your teeth while you sleep.

Modern Mouthguards

Many of us associate mouth guards with physical contact sports such as ice hockey. Fortunately, mouth guards have come a long way. These days, nighttime mouth guards are more discreet and far less invasive.

A mouthguard is a cost-effective way of helping you through a stressful period in your life and protecting your teeth. A custom mouthguard helps to reduce jaw pain and the risk of damaged teeth.

What About Medication For Bruxism?

Yes, there are prescription drugs that may help. But, there is a distinct risk associated with prescription drugs for bruxism. The most common prescription drug for bruxism is called gabapentin. Although it is effective, it carries an associated risk of suicide.

When you are already having problems with mental health, adding another element into the equation is not worth the risk. Instead, it is better to explore alternative avenues of help. One of the best ways is to protect your teeth with a mouthguard.

Final thoughts

Stress is a common health problem. Long term stress can lead to other health conditions including bruxism. If you think you suffer from bruxism as a result of stress and are experiencing insomnia, investing in a mouthguard could help you sleep better. It is a safe alternative to prescription medication and is certainly worth exploring.