Anxiety and stress can have a lot of negative impacts. People often discuss how it impairs mental health, but it can also really take a toll on your body. One of these points, surprisingly enough, is your teeth. When stressed, people often clench their jaw or grind their teeth. They can also do that unconsciously while sleeping.
Continually grinding your teeth can cause people to wear down, crack, and otherwise damage their teeth, which can lead to additional dental complications. If you find yourself doing this, here are some things you can try:
Reduce Your Stress Level
As stress is usually the culprit, cutting back on the amount of stress you experience each day should have the dual effect of reducing your grinding and improving your overall well-being.
Get More Sleep
The better rested you are, the more centered you feel. That can make you more relaxed and less likely to become stressed, leading to clenching and grinding.
Cut Back on Alcohol and Caffeine
Alcohol may seem like it is relaxing you, but it actually increases the likelihood of clenching. Caffeine, of course, is the type of stimulant that does just the opposite of what you want here. Switch to decaf coffee and stay away from the colas.
Wear a Guard at Night
If you have not been able to reduce your stress level and are worried about the amount of damage on your teeth, ask your dentist to make you a night guard. You wear these while asleep and they protect your teeth from additional wear. Depending on how much you grind, they can last 1-2 years. Guards tends to be fairly expensive, but don’t use cheaper, over the counter ones instead: a guard needs to be custom made so that it fits securely over your teeth in order to be effective.