Treatment and techniques for oral and dental stress issues
We are all aware of the effects of stress, but what many of us do not take into account the physical impact it can have on your mouth and teeth!
Grinding & Clenching
Bruxism, the medical term for the condition characterised by teeth grinding and jaw clenching, is a common problem that many of our patients experience, most of whom are unaware. Symptoms of Bruxism often become apparent when others complain of ‘grinding’ and ‘biting’ sounds during the night or patients wake up to discomfort or pain from their jaw or temples.
Grinding of the teeth can affect both children and adults, and cases are increasing rapidly; it is usually associated with stress or anxiety, and many people find that it will come and go but tends to be more prevalent during times of high stress. Bruxism can also affect people whilst they are awake, although this is more likely to be clenching, rather than grinding. Most people clench subconsciously while concentrating or when they are in stressful situations.
It is not uncommon for patients who suffer from bruxism to experience regular headaches, pain and tenderness in their jaw or sensitive teeth, all of which can be managed here at our General Practice.
The most common solution to bruxism is to wear custom fit mouth guards at night which encourages the muscles in the jaw to relax and reduces clenching and grinding. We also treat the effects of extreme bruxism by restoring tooth surface loss, ensuring we follow this up with appropriate diet advice as certain foods and drinks can accelerate tooth surface loss with bruxism.
It is important to note that the most effective way to treat bruxism is often to manage the stress itself, if possible.
The clinicians at Dawood and Tanner General Dental Practice are happy to listen, talk and may even be able to help organise extra professional support if necessary.
The health and stability of our gums is central to our dental health. We find often that when patients are under stress, they tend to lapse in their usual oral hygiene regime, whether that is keeping up with regular hygiene visits or their meticulous interdental cleaning at home.
Poor oral maintenance can lead to Periodontal disease, which is the inflammation of the gums and supporting structures of the teeth that can ultimately lead to tooth loss if not properly managed. A very common sign of early periodontal disease is bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth. If this is a symptom you are experiencing then we would highly recommend that you make an appointment with one of the team.
Through regular dental checkups and hygiene appointments, this can be identified early and treated appropriately. It is important to note that smoking often masks the common signs of periodontal disease!