Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Though grinding teeth often occurs at night, it could also occur during the day when someone is in a subconscious state or when taking a day nap. It is therefore not a night condition as many wrongly assume.
The Relationship between Stress and Bruxism
Doctors agree that bruxism is a condition that is manifested over time and as a result of deep rooted emotions. Stress is one of major causes of bruxism and when combined with anxiety, it can actually lead to bad habits such as teeth clenching. We all cope with stress differently and while some people bite their nails or resort to drugs, others clench their teeth. While it is best to avoid stress, we all know that it is not always possible. What you can do is learn to manage your stress as this could help eradicate your teeth clenching behavior.
Relieving stress is not always easy and you cannot relieve stress unless you know the actual cause. Sometimes this could be as a result of a hectic lifestyle, family issues and disputes amongst others. The reasons as to why you may be stressed are far and wide; individual therapeutic methods are therefore ideal. Below are some steps you can take toward relieving stress:
- Seek Professional Help: It is no longer taboo to be seen coming out a psychologist’s office. Seeking professional help is one of the best things you can do for yourself and it will go a long way in helping you manage your stress levels. Talking to someone is always therapeutic. A psychologist can also help you get answers to the reason behind your stress and help you manage it as well.
- Meditation: Mediation is a good way of relieving stress and one that can help you get away from your current state of mind. When most people hear the term meditation, more often than not they imagine yoga, acupuncture, self-talk and other unconventional methods of meditation. While these are all good techniques, it is important to realize people meditate in different ways. While yoga may work for some, painting, swimming, running or even a simple walk could be the best form of meditation for others.
- Make Life Changes: Some of the stresses we have are self-inflicted. Over analyzing our lives and constantly comparing ourselves to others is one of the major causes of stress. This habit is one that can lead to harmful habits such as teeth clenching especially if you often think a lot before going to sleep. Not all stresses are self-inflicted and work related stress is also not something we can ignore. Making simple life changes such as making time to relax after work or taking up a fun activity after work can help reduce your stress levels. There are also natural stress relievers such as massages especially a scalp massage, calming tea and exercise amongst others.
Bruxism is not a life sentence and it can be addressed by simply addressing issues such as stress. Relieving stress can ultimately help you heal from this condition.