September 30, 2016
What an awful position you’ve found yourself in. You never thought you’d say that as you were staring down at a fresh pizza in front of you. Your friends have been looking forward to this outing all week, and you couldn’t bring yourself to cancel. It had been rescheduled enough as it is. Your jaw has been aching all week, to the point that it’s difficult to talk or chew. Things have been hectic at work and this is just the last thing you need: stress during your free time. Your jaw may have something serious going on, and TMJ therapy in Dix Hills could be your solution.
Stress and Your Teeth
It’s never a question of if you’re stressed, but rather how stressed are you. A full life is always a little stressful, as family, friends, and work demand your time and focus. Both of these things are finite, abstract as they are, so it is up to you on how to divide them amongst all the people in your life. It is just inevitable that someone will demand more, and everything just rolls on. Stress can affect the body in many ways, but did you know that it can affect your teeth? Daily stress can lead to a condition called bruxism, which is an involuntary grinding of the teeth or clenching of the jaw. A person often does it unconsciously, mostly while asleep. They can wake up feeling TMJ (or jaw) pain, experiencing swelling, or even having headaches. Bruxism is very stressful on the teeth and can eventually wear them down, even cracking or breaking them over time. Once a tooth’s structure has become compromised, it is more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.
How Can I Treat Bruxism?
Treatment for bruxism can be difficult because the problem happens while the patient is asleep. One way to help alleviate symptoms is to try and reduce the stress in your life. The first step is to identify what could be stressing you out. This can be hard to do in itself. A patient can help themselves relax by sleeping more or by adapting relaxation techniques, such as mediation, into their daily routine. Drs. Raj and Shubha Soni-Gaur can show you exercises to relax your jaw, or even supply you with an oral appliance. This would be a custom made mouth guard that you would wear every night to bed. It would help protect you from grinding your teeth, as well as shift your jaw so it stays in a relaxed, comfortable position. This would facilitate the muscles of the jaw getting to properly heal. A patient can talk and drink with their mouth guard in, so it doesn’t interfere with normal nighttime routines.
How Do I Even Know If I’m Doing It?
If you are experiencing any jaw pain, or you notice that your teeth are being worn down or are changing shape, please make an appointment with us today. Bruxism can only get worse over time if left untreated. Life has plenty of stress even when it is going well, so the last thing you need is to worry about your teeth. Put your mind at ease and come see us so we can help take care of you.
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