Are you stressed? Aren’t we all? There are lots of different ways to relieve stress and it is important to find an outlet to help with day-to-day issues that mentally drain us and stress us out. Sometimes when we don’t manage these issues they manifest in other ways in our bodies. Some people develop aches and pains, some people may break out in a rash and a lot of people clench their jaws and grind their teeth. You may even be doing this and not even know it! Sometimes we clench and grind while we’re doing tasks and a lot of people tend to grind their teeth in their sleep.
So how do you know if you’re grinding your teeth? Here are some things you might notice if you do:
- Worn Down Teeth
- Jaw Pain and Stiffness
- Jaw Popping When Opening and Closing
- Sleepless Nights
- Ear Ringing
If these issues go untreated you can develop TMJ, a disorder of the temporomandibular joint. However, TMJ is not exclusively developed just from teeth clenching. You can grind your teeth and never develop TMJ and instead get it from arthritis, genetics, a jaw injury, or even chewing gum!
So how do you know if you are experiencing issues from teeth grinding or TMJ? It is likely you will need our help to not only know which issue you are experiencing but we can also help provide a solution for teeth grinding and TMJ. For now, if you feel like you are grinding your teeth try basic things to relieve stress like massage, heat around your jaw and neck, and when you notice you are grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw immediately correct your behavior. The most important thing you can do is tell us during your visit if you have any concerns and we can determine if you will need a mouth guard or if other precautions need to be put in place. For now, let’s do a quick stress-relieving exercise and Breathe In…now Breathe Out, repeat as needed. 🙂