For students across the United States, September means one thing: the beginning of school. By the time October rolls around, though, the excitement of a new year and new beginning has probably been worn away by the stress induced by upcoming exams and homework.
The psychological and even physical effects of stress are frequently discussed, but the tooth-related issues induced by stress are often overlooked. It’s something you don’t consider. However, as Dr. Abir Faraj from Novi Family Dentistry in Novi, Mich., explains, the effect that stress can have on the teeth is by no means light. Knowing how to prevent stress-related dental problems can be a crucial way to stay healthy.
The effect stress has on teeth can perhaps be considered indirect: it impacts the teeth through bruxism, or teeth grinding. You might’ve noticed yourself clenching your teeth together tightly when in an anxious or anger-inducing situation. The concept is very much the same. Bruxism is one of the body’s physical reactions to stressful situations, and school is undoubtedly a factor that leads to such situations.
So, you might be thinking, I just need to avoid clenching my teeth when stressed, right? To a certain extent, that’s true. If you’re able to consciously avoid clenching your teeth, you can avoid the effects of bruxism. However, matters aren’t that simple. A lot of the time, you might not even be clenching your teeth consciously. For example, many people grind their teeth in their sleep as a reaction to stressful situations during the day. It can be difficult to prevent that kind of unconscious bruxism.
Clenching your teeth might not sound like a big deal, but, over time, it can cause a number of oral health and general health issues. The symptoms range from relatively mild to extremely severe, and each patient’s response can differ. Some of the most common effects of bruxism include:
If you think that you may be grinding your teeth because of stress, or if you’re just curious about bruxism, make sure to contact a qualified dentist to get professional advice! Only a dentist can properly diagnose a dental situation and prescribe an appropriate treatment. You can always contact Dr. Faraj from Novi Family Dentistry for more information! Just call (248) 946-8611 or visit the website novifamilydentistry.com to set up an appointment today!