Do your teeth hurt from bruxism? The solution is to reduce stress

If in recent months you have noticed that you have woken up with tooth pain and you do not suspect that it is due to any pitted tooth or cavities, it is possible that your ailment is a cause of bruxism. In fact, throughout the pandemic a high number of cases of this condition have been reported, which also has not been able to be treated adequately due to restrictions. Many have had to endure, since it is not a disease that requires an emergency medical response, and also due to the high degree of exposure to the virus that many dentists have.

The most striking thing is that in certain cases the problem does not remain in a simple tooth or gum pain, but goes further, being able to extend to the neck area by tightening the jaw muscles too much. By not talking about possible headaches and headaches. This was warned by a prestigious American dentist named Tammy chen in an article published in 'The New York Times' a few months ago. And now, although the pandemic is not over yet, accumulated stress continues to affect the oral health of millions of people in the developed world.

"If you are tired and stressed, you drink coffee to wake up and then drink alcohol to relax, your teeth may end up paying the price"

Bruxism can happen both when we are asleep and when we are awake. The most problematic and difficult thing to deal with is that, after all, it is an unconscious and involuntary action of our lower jaw, that presses against the upper one or grinds the teeth by moving them from side to side or back and forth giving different force. Hence it is so difficult to remove. Although its effects are physical (dental and gum pain), its causes tend to be mostly psychological, caused by the stress that we feel and that we cannot manage to release in an appropriate way.

Stress and bruxism

Therefore, those who are more prone to anxiety or stress episodes are also more likely to suffer bruxism. This is confirmed by a study by 'Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology' which found that workers who felt more stressed and dissatisfied at work they were much more susceptible to this problem than their less anxious colleagues.

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On the other hand, our habits also have a lot to do with the possibility of suffering bruxism, and not just how we assimilate external conditions. Another study by the American Dental Association (ADA) confirmed that cigarette smoking, frequent consumption of alcohol or caffeine and, above all, lack of sleep, were factors that were related to sporadic episodes of bruxism. "If you are tired and stressed, you drink coffee to wake up and then drink alcohol to relax and fall asleep, your teeth may end up paying the price," he emphasizes. Quinn Myers, a journalist for 'Mel Magazine' in a recent article on the subject.

But not only are there psychological mechanisms that play a role, bruxism is also about a physical response. "High stress triggers a spontaneous release of adrenaline," he says. Edward Alvarez, Manhattan dentist consulted by Myers. "Adrenaline makes your body unconsciously prepare for physical confrontation, like when you clench your teeth to stabilize your jaw before taking a hit. Maybe you can keep your jaw open consciously, in which case your body will unconsciously tend to protect itself in another way, such as clenching your fists. "

Towards a solution

There is no one hundred percent effective treatment to end bruxism permanently. Dentists tend to recommend wearing a snug mouth guard for sleeping. And most importantly, reduce stress as much as possible. The easiest type of bruxism to detect and treat is the one that happens when we are awake, but still it will also require a great effort on the part of the patient by constantly having to correct the involuntary impulses to close the jaw and clench the teeth.

One of the best tips is to correct feelings of stress thanks to relaxation therapies and deep breathing. By inhaling and exhaling air slowly, our body and mind will tend to relax, making the muscles in the mouth less likely to unconsciously tense up. In any case, the best way to correct and solve this problem is to go to the dentist and have him advise you on the possible remedies and the steps you should take to make this phenomenon that is the cause of so many ailments less frequent. oral today.