How Stress and Bruxism Relate

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, commonly occurs at night and can potentially cause some serious damage to your teeth, and therefore overall oral health.  There is no single cause for bruxism, thus no single solution.  It is important to understand why you are grinding your teeth in order to know how to treat it.

What Can Bruxism Do to Your Teeth?

Grinding your teeth can lead to many problems.  First of all, it can cause jaw pain.  Over time, grinding can wear down the enamel of your teeth, exposing dentin, which can then lead to tooth sensitivity.  This wear can also lead to tooth decay.  In order to prevent these issues from happening, it is important to find the cause of the bruxism and treat it as soon as possible.

What Causes Bruxism?

There are several causes for bruxism.  It frequently occurs along with a sleep related disorder; such as sleep apnea or snoring.  Usually when the apnea or snoring ceases, so does the grinding.  Some lifestyle factors can cause bruxism as well.  These include smoking, caffeine and excessive alcohol use.  One of the biggest causes of bruxism is stress.

How Does Stress Cause Grinding?

Stress causes approximately 70 percent of bruxism cases.  Those who suffer job related stress are often most susceptible.  Stress can often cause you to clench and grind your teeth in your waking hours, so it stands to reason that it can also do so while you sleep.  This type of bruxism is also cyclical.  Stress causes grinding, which in turn causes insomnia.  Insomnia then causes more stress.

Stress is a direct cause of bruxism.  Its cyclical nature makes it rather difficult to stop it from happening.  You can invest in a mouth guard to help prevent further damages while you sleep.  To treat the actual cause of the grinding, you should seek professional assistance.  Once you know the cause, be it stress, a lifestyle factor or a sleep disorder, you can help stop it all together.

Please contact us if you have any questions about bruxisms effect on your oral health.