Could stress be damaging your teeth?

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Most of us know that stress can stop us from sleeping and elevate our blood pressure, but did you know that stress can also affect your teeth? Many people who suffer from stress and anxiety grind their teeth, which increases the risk of tooth wear, chips, and jaw pain.

Bruxism, the medical name for tooth grinding, is a common cause of temporomandibular joint disorder, a group of symptoms, which affects the temporomandibular joint. This is the joint that connects the lower jaw and the skull. Signs include clicking and popping noises when you move your jaw, restricted movement in the joint, and pain, which tends to be worse in the morning. Grinding your teeth can also contribute to headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and it can also cause the teeth to become worn and weak.

Studies show that stress can elevate the risk of tooth grinding, and it tends to be more common in people who have stressful, high-pressure jobs.

If you do grind your teeth, your dentist can provide you with a bite guard, which prevents the upper and lower sets of teeth clashing together while you sleep. Changing your lifestyle and trying stress management techniques like meditation, exercise and massage therapy, may also reduce the risk of bruxism.

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