Do you find yourself on edge? Anxiety can be seen through a number of different behaviors, such as pacing, sweating, and rapid leg movement. However, two you might not even be aware of are jaw clenching and teeth grinding.
While the former can cause headaches and neck pain, there is usually no permanent damage. Not so with grinding, which can severely compromise your teeth. Unless you have a partner or dentist altering you to the issue, you might not even be aware that you are grinding (it usually happens when we are sleeping) until it’s too late and there is extensive wear. This can often mean costly surgery to remove dead nerves and add crowns, as demonstrated in this video:
If you are grinding, here are some things you can try:
Stress is the primary reason for grinding, so it is important to take steps to reduce it. Get more sleep, and avoid situations and people that increase your stress. If you need additional help, make an appointment with a therapist to discuss strategies.
Cut down on your caffeine intake. You probably already considered that one, but did you also know that alcohol can lead to anxiety? Yes, alcohol can be relaxing, but it can also have this effect as well, so moderate your intake.
Wear a Brux Appliance at Night
The official name for the act of teeth grinding is bruxism, and you can protect against it by wearing a brux appliance while sleeping. These are molded plastic guards worn over either your top or bottom teeth. While you can buy these at drug stores for relatively little cost, they are rarely effective as the guard must fit your teeth snuggly to stay in place. In order to do that, a dentist must make molds of your jaws. Brux appliances can be quite expensive, but it is well worth the money to protect the health and appearance of your teeth.