Lowering Stress to Stop Teeth Clenching and Grinding

At DeStefano Dentistry, our professionals are well aware of the conditions that can negatively impact the health of the smile. This includes bruxism, a condition that causes clenching and grinding of the teeth, either during the day or while patients sleep. For some patients, this condition can develop due to other dental concerns such as temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ/TMD. For others, this condition develops due to stress.

How does stress impact the smile?

Are you stressed? Little do many patients know, but stress can be seen in the health of their teeth. When patients are stressed, they often experience the tightening of muscles. This is why stress can cause shoulder and neck pain, as tension develops in this area. But for some, the tension may also cause the tightening of the jaw muscles that can result in clenching and grinding. While this often occurs subconsciously, it can be addressed with self-help techniques, such as stress reduction and exercises to stretch the jaw muscles and reduce overall tension.

How to reduce muscle tension in the jaw caused by stress

Dr. Thomas J. DeStefano works with patients to help them in finding ways to reduce their overall stress to eliminate unwanted wear and tear on the smile from clenching and grinding. Here are a few techniques that may be recommended:

  • Self-massage. The jaw muscles are easy to massage for a few minutes each day. Some patients may find that warming the muscles with a warm towel on the jaw before massaging can help loosen the muscles and reduce overall tension.
  • Personalized nutrition changes. Tough or hard foods can contribute to soreness and tightening of the jaw muscles. Choose softer foods and avoid gum chewing, while considering your intake of alcohol and caffeine which can augment grinding and clenching issues.
  • Relaxation techniques. Managing stress is one of the most effective ways of combating conditions like bruxism. Relaxation may include deep breathing exercises, yoga and meditation practice, and progressive muscle relaxation techniques.

Learn more about stress reduction to improve conditions such as bruxism

Call DeStefano Dentistry in Pittsford, NY to speak to Dr. Thomas J. Stephano about your condition and seek solutions to improve the health of your smile. Call the practice at (585) 248-2383 and visit at 600 Kreag Road. With the assistance of our professional team, patients can reduce their stress and address unwanted clenching and grinding once and for all!

Posted in: TMJ / Neuromuscular Dentistry

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