Is Stress Ruining Your Teeth While You Sleep?

05/09/2013

Stress Ruining Your Teeth dental restoration Sydney NSW

In 2012 the Australian Psychological Society (APS) conducted a state-of-the-nation survey

that revealed 70% of Australian’s physical health and well-being is being affected by stress.

There is nothing like crawling into bed after a long day’s hard work and you expect some relief when you drift off to sleep but all that stress you have been carrying on your shoulders could be having a serious impact on your teeth. Stress is one of the leading causes of an unconscious nocturnal activity known as bruxism which causes many damaging side effects.

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is Greek in origin and means ‘gnashing of the teeth’. It is an unconscious action that can cause pain and tension in your facial muscle and jaw joints as well as wear down your teeth. If left untreated it can lead to hearing loss and temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) which affects the function of your jaw. Most people are unaware they suffer from bruxism until their partners point out that they are grinding, clenching or chewing in their sleep.

If you find that you are experiencing a few or more of these symptoms, at Just Smile near the Sutherland Shire we recommend attending to the issue as soon as possible!

So why do people suffer from Bruxism?

Stress is one of the major factors that contribute to the development of bruxism, and according to the APS the following are the leading factors of stress in Australia:

  • Financial issues (50 % of Australians identify personal financial issues as a cause for stress)
  • Family issues  (An average of 42.8% of ages 18 to 76+ admit to family induced stress)
  • Mental health issues (20% of Australians associate mental health with stress)
  • Australian women are surveyed to have higher levels of stress than men.

Bruxism is also closely associated with:

  • An abnormal and/or unaligned bite
  • Wisdom teeth
  • Missing or crooked teeth
  • Ear disorders and infections
  • Temporomandibular joint  disorder (TMJ)
  • Sleeping disorders such as obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA)

That’s where we come in; at Just Smile we treat Bruxism with night guards…

Bruxism usually is disregarded because its symptoms are so common but over time it can really cause problems for not only the teeth but the whole facial region and your overall well-being.  When identifying a Bruxist (suffer of bruxism), at Just Smile we like to help our clients by suggesting a custom-made night guard.

A night guard (also known as a night splint) is similar to an orthodontic retainer that cushions the gap between the top and bottom row of teeth in order to prevent grinding and restore your bite while you sleep. It is tailored to fit the groove of your teeth and is fashioned with a durable resin material.

If the bruxism is related to a bigger problem we can investigate in the underlying issues to help correct this condition. We also offer cosmetic dentistry to help those who have missing or crooked teeth if that is the reason of bruxism.

Everyone deserves to sleep easy knowing that they are not damaging their teeth…

If you think you are a Bruxist, at Just Smile we will do whatever we can to help you recover as soon as possible. By identifying the cause of your bruxism and managing it early on we can help prevent it developing into TMD or other associated disorders.

For further information about bruxism or to book an appointment at our Just Smile Ramsgate Beach practice, near the Sutherland Shire and please do not hesitate to contact us.

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