Clenching and Grinding Teeth Due to Stress

Posted .

Everybody at one time or another will experience stressful situations. Whether from your job or personal life, no one is immune to stress. Stress manifests in many ways. One way that you may not realize is detrimental to your dental health.

Clenching your jaw and grinding teeth is a sign of nervousness and may happen when you have high levels of stress. Another term for excessive teeth grinding or jaw clenching is Bruxism. Clenching usually occurs during the day and you may or may not realize when you are doing it. Grinding takes place more often at night, and again, this makes it even more likely that you won’t realize it. Pay more attention during daylight hours for clenching, and ask a spouse or partner to check you at night for grinding.

If you find that you have sore jaw muscles frequently, or chronic jaw pain, see your dentist for a comprehensive analysis and oral health exam to nail down the cause. There are non-surgical ways to treat clenching and grinding issues. Your dentist may suggest using a mouthguard at night, or to see your doctor about anti-anxiety medication if you’re experiencing a particularly stressful life event. There are bite alignment issues that may require surgery. If your jaw issue is TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder, where the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull becomes a problem, it may need more self-managed care but can require surgery as a last resort.

If you need an evaluation for teeth clenching or grinding, Dr. Anderson Lane would be happy to help you. Please contact Anderson Lane Dental to make an appointment at: 512.459.4347, or come by our office in Austin, Texas.