As you’ve navigated your way through the crazy holiday traffic, did you ever catch yourself clutching the steering wheel, white knuckles and all, or feel yourself clenching down on your jaw?
It’s a completely understandable response to stressful situations, and who doesn’t agree that traffic on any day is stressful?
The problem, though, is that this might be something you do more often than you think, clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth. In fact, most people do it in their sleep!
Is All This Hustle & Bustle Hurting Your Teeth?
When your upper and lower teeth meet, they should line up properly. If they don’t, or if you are grinding your teeth against each other, it’s going to inevitably lead to damaged tooth enamel and potential oral health problems, cosmetic issues for your smile, and even painful widespread symptoms.
You don’t have to let holiday stress hurt your smile or quality of life. The good news is that teeth grinding, or bruxism, is very treatable!
At LakeCrest Dental in Sand Springs, we can offer solutions so you can heal and live pain-free.
The Other Problems With Teeth Grinding
Grinding your teeth might be something you’re doing involuntarily in response to heightened or sustained stress. That’s not hard to imagine during the holidays!
It could also be a sign that there’s something going on with your jaw. The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is just below your ears and connects your jaw and skull.
Now think about how many times a day you’re using that joint! As you might suspect, anything that moves your TMJ out of proper alignment is going to make things you take for granted, like eating and speaking, uncomfortable, and even painful.
You might experience other symptoms in addition to teeth grinding and jaw clenching:
- Jaw soreness
- Ear pain
- Popping sounds in your jaw
- Facial swelling
- Muscle tension in the neck and shoulders
- Chronic headaches or migraines
The good news is that we can help! A custom mouthguard or an NTI splint are effective solutions that are easy to use. Fitting comfortably over your teeth, you wear one of these devices at night while you sleep so that your upper and lower teeth can’t touch.
This alleviates pressure on your jaw, which is significant because it not only allows it to heal, but it helps you wake up and get through each day without pain.
Let Us Help!
It comes down to one basic question – why suffer?
You don’t need to accept chronic pain, damaged teeth, or any of the other symptoms associated with teeth grinding and TMJ disorder.